ali-(radhiallahu-'anhu)

And indeed, the utmost good is for the one to whom Allaah grants understanding of the Religion And it is enough ignorance for a person that he does not know about his Religion. Such a person is passionately addicted to pleasures, accustomed to following desires, or is one given to amassing wealth and piling it up. Such people are not from the callers to the Religion rather they are more like the grazing cattle. And thus knowledge passes away with the passing away of those who carry it.
—  Ali (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) [Reported by Abu Nu'aym in Hilyatul-Awliyaa (1/79-80), al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (1/49-50) and Ibn Katheer in al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah (9/47)]
Did the Prophet (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) Appoint Ali (radhiAllahu 'anhu) as the First Caliph?

By Shaykh Abdul Al Aziz Ibn Baaz (rahimahullah)

This allegation is not known to be made by any Muslim sects other than the Shiites. It is false and baseless report. On the contrary, there are many proofs indicating that the caliph after the Prophet (sallAllaahu alaihi wa sallam) was Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, may Allaah be pleased with him and the rest of the Prophets Companions Although the Prophet (sallAllaahu alaihi wa sallam) did not explicitly declare, or stipulate it, yet he issued orders to that effect. He ordered Abu Bakr to lead prayer during the day of sickness. And when the issue of caliphate was mentioned in his presence, he emphasized:

“Allaah and the believers disapprove of anyone other than Abu Bakr." 

[Sahih Bukhari, no. 5666, Sahih Muslim, no. 2387]

It was for this reason the Companions including Ali, may Allaah be pleased with them, gave Abu Bakr their pledge of loyalty after the death of the Prophet (sallAllaahu alaihi wa sallam). They all unanimously agreed that Abu Bakr was their best. It is also authentically reported that Abdullah bin Umar, may Allaah be pleased with them, said that the Companions used"to say during the lifetime of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam):

"The best of this Ummah after its Prophet, is Abu Bakr then Umar then Uthman,”

[Sahih Bukhari, no. 3671, Abu Dawud, no. 4629, & others]

and the Prophet (sallAllaahu alaihi wa sallam) approved of that. It is also authentically reported that Ali, may Allaah be please with him, used to say:

“The best of this Ummah after its Prophet is Abu Bakr, then Umar.”

[Reported in Bukhari, Ahmed, Ibn Abi Asim, Ibn Abi Shaiba, Ibn Asakir & others]

He also said:

“Anyone who prefers me to them I shall flog him being considered as a slanderer.”

[Lisan al-Mizan, Vol. 3, pg. 290]

Ali never claimed that he was the best of the Ummah, nor did he claim that the Messenger (sallAllaahu alaihi wa sallam) recommended him for the office of caliphate, nor did he assert that the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, plundered his right. When Fatimah, may Allaah be pleased with her, died, Ali gave his pledge to Abu Bakr for the second time to emphasise his first pledge. He also wanted to prove to people that he was with the assembly of the Muslims, and had no grudge for Abu Bakr, may Allaah be pleased with them all.

When Umar was stabbed, he left the decision of appointing his successor, to six of the ten Companions whom the Prophet (sallAllaahu alaihi wa sallam) testified that they will be admitted into Paradise, and Ali was one of them. He did not object Umars arrangement during the latters life nor after his death, nor did he claim that he was the most deserving of them all. How then could anyone dare to forge a lie against the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alaihi wa sallam) alleging that the Prophet (sallAllaahu alaihi wa sallam) recommended Ali for the office of Caliphate? When neither Ali claimed nor any Companion claimed it on his behalf. Rather the Companions were at unison on the validity of the caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar, and Uthman. Ali recognised this and participated with them in Jihad, consultation and other duties. Then the Muslims were also in unison over which the Companions were in unison. Hence, it is not permissible after this for any person, or any sect, be it Shiites or otherwise, to claim that Ali was recommended for the office, and that caliphate of those who preceded him was false. Neither is it permissible for anyone to say that the Companions plundered Ali’s right. Such a statement is most false, and constitutes evil suspicion and ill thinking of the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah including Ali.

May Allaah be pleased with them all. Allaah has exonerated the Ummah of Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) and guarded it against being in unison over falsehood. It is authentically reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said in numerous traditions:

“A group from My Ummah shall remain adhering to the truth, victorious.”

[Sahih Bukhaari, no. 71 & 3641 Sahih Muslim, no. 1920]

It is impossible that the best and most honourable generations of this Ummah be at unison on falsehood, that is, the caliphate of Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman. No one who believes in Allaah and the Final Day, would make such an allegation, nor would make it a person who possesses minimal understanding of Islam.

(Source)

ال أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام: لو ميزت شيعتي لما وجدتـهم إلا واصفة، ولو امتحنتهم لما وجدتـهم إلا مرتدين، ولو تمحصتهم لما خلص من الألف واحد

Amir al-Mu'mineen Ali (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) said:

“If I was to distinguish my Shia (those claiming to be of Ali’s "party”) I would not have found them except as Waasifah (intent unclear), and if I was to examine them, I would not find them except as apostates, and if I was to purify them, not even one in a thousand would be purified.“

—  [Al-Kaafi, Al-Rawdah (8/338)]

It will always remain shameful and disheartening to observe insults, disrespect, and abusive messages sent to those who strive to uphold the honor of our Umm nul Mu'mineen, Aisha (radhiAllahu ‘anha), guard the best friend and companion of our Prophet (ﷺ), Abu Bakr As Siddique (radhiAllahu 'anhu), from being falsely maligned, and confidently assert that those who do not respect the noble Sahaba and beloved Family of our Prophet (ﷺ) are not deserving of respect in return.

O Ahlus Sunnah, where is your love, esteem, and recognition for those who sacrificed their livelihood and all that was in their possession for the sake of Allah, and for this blessed deen?

Seeking acceptance of one's actions in Ramadan

The Salaf worked diligently in perfecting their actions and making them faultless, then after that, they showed great concern for acceptance of their actions. They did this because they feared that their actions would be rejected. They are those who gave what was incumbent upon them while their hearts were in a state of fear.

It is reported that Ali bin Abi Talib (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) said:

“Be more concerned that your actions are accepted than your concern of performing the action itself. Did you not hear the statement of Allah: 'Verily Allah only accepts the actions of the Mutaqeen (pious).’”

[Source: Lataif al Maa'rif by Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali, Translation & compilation by Sheikh Abdur Rahman bin Muhammed bin Qassim]

Virtues of Ali (radhiAllahu 'anhu)

After Ali (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) died , Mu'awiyah bin Abi Sufyan (radhiAllahu 'anhu) said to Dirar bin Damrah (radhiAllahu 'anhu):

“Describe ‘Ali to me.”

“Will you not excuse me from answering you,” said Dirar.

“No, describe him,” insisted Mu'awiyah.

“Please excuse me from doing so,” said Dirar.

“I will not,” said Mu'awiyah.

“I will do so, then” said Dirar with a sigh.

By Allah, he was (far-sighted) and very strong. He spoke with a truthful finality, so that, through him, truth became distinguished from falsehood. He ruled justly, and knowledge gushed forth from him, as did wisdom. He felt an aversion to the world and its (pleasure). He was comfortable with the night and its darkness (meaning he prayed a lot). By Allah he would cry profusely (from fear of Allah); long durations would he spend in contemplation, during which time he would converse with his soul. He showed a liking to coarse garments and lower-quality food. By Allah, it was as if – in his humbleness – he was one of us: when we asked him a question, he would answer us; when we would go to him, he would initiate (the salam); and when we would invite him (to our homes), he would come to us. Yet, in spite of his closeness to us, we would not speak (freely) with him, because of the dignity and honor that he exuded if he smiled, he revealed the likes of straight and regular pearls (his teeth). He honored religious people and loved the poor. The strong person could not hope to gain favors from him through falsehood. And the weak person never lost hope of his justness. I swear, by Allah, that on certain occasions, I saw him in his place of prayer when the night was dark and few stars could be seen; he would be holding his beard and crying the way a very sad person cries; and I would hear him saying,

"O world, O world, are you offering yourself to me? Do you desire me? Never! Never! Deceive someone other than me, I have divorced you for the third time, so that you cannot return to me [metaphorically, of course; he is alluding to the fact that, in islam, the third divorce is final] your life is short, the existence you offer is base, and your danger is great. Alas for the scarcity of sustenance [good deeds], the great distance of the journey, and the loneliness of the road!”

Upon hearing this description, Mu'awiyah’s eyes swelled with tears, and not being able to hold them from gushing forth, he was forced to wipe them with his cuffs; and the same can be said for those who were present. Mu'awiyah then said,

“May Allah have mercy on the father of Al-Hasan, for he was, by Allah, just as you described him to be.”

He then said, “O Dirar, describe your sadness at having lost him.”

"My sadness” began Dirar “is like the sadness of a woman who cannot control her tears or allay her grief after her child, while in her lap, has just been slaughtered.”

Dirar then stood up and left.

[Source: Sifatus-Safwah 1/66]

Narrated Alī bin Al-Husain (radhiAllāhu ‘anhu):

Safīya, the wife of the Prophet (ﷺ) told me that she went to Allāh’s Apostle (ﷺ) to visit him in the mosque while he was in I'tikāf in the last ten days of Ramadān. She had a talk with him for a while, then she got up in order to return home. The Prophet (ﷺ) accompanied her. When they reached the gate of the mosque, opposite the door of Um-Salama, two Ansārī men were passing by and they greeted Allāh’s Apostle (ﷺ). He told them: Do not run away! And said, “She is (my wife) Safīya bint Huyai.” Both of them said, “SubhanAllāh, (How dare we think of any evil) O Allāh’s Apostle!” And they felt it. The Prophet (ﷺ) said (to them), “Shaytān reaches everywhere in the human body as blood reaches in it, (everywhere in one’s body). I was afraid lest Shaytān might insert an evil thought in your minds.”

—  [Sahīh Bukhārī Vol. 3, Hadīth no. 251. Translated by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khān]
Ali (radhiAllahu 'anhu) did not ask for the Khilafah

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنَ عَبَّاسٍ أَنَّ عَلِيَّ بْنَ أَبِي طَالِبٍ رضي الله عَنْهُ خَرَجَ مِنْ عِنْدِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي وَجْعِهِ الَّذِي تُوُفِّىَ فِيْهِ فَقَالَ النَّاسُ: يَا أَبَا الْحَسَنِ كَيْفَ أَصْبَحَ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ أَصْبَحَ بِحَمْدِ اللهِ بَارِئًا فَأَخَذَ بِيَدِهِ الْعَبَّاسُ فَقَالَ لَهُ أَلاَ تَرَاهُ أَنْتَ وَاللهِ بَعْدَ ثَلاَثٍ عَبْدُ الْعَصَا وَاللهِ إِنِّي َلأَرَى رَسُوْلَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ سَوْفَ تُوُفِّىَ فِي وَجْعِهِ وَإِنِّي َلأَعْرِفُ فِي وُجُوْهِ بَنِي عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبِ الْمَوْتَ فَاذْهَبْ بِنَا إِلَى رَسُوْلِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَنَسْأَلُهُ فِيْمَنْ هَذَا اْلأمْرُ؟ فَإِنْ كَانَ فِيْنَا عَلِمْنَا ذَلِكَ وَإْنْ كَانَ فِي غَيْرِنَا عَلِمْنَا ذَلِكَ فَأَوْصَى بِنَا. قَالَ عَلِيُّ وَاللهِ لَئِنْ سَأَلْنَاهَا رَسُوْلَ الله صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَمَنَعْنَاهَا لاَ يُعْطِيْنَاهَا النَّاسُ بَعْدَهُ وَإِنِّي وَاللهِ لاَ أَسْأَلُهَا رَسُوْلَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ. رواه البخاري

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Abbas (radhiAllahu 'anhu): Ali bin Abu Talib came out of the house of Allah’s Apostle during his fatal illness. The people asked,

“O Abu Hasan (i.e. Ali)! How is the health of Allah’s Apostle this morning?” 'Ali replied, “He has recovered with the Grace of Allah.” 'Abbas bin 'Abdul Muttalib held him by the hand and said to him, “In three days you, by Allah, will be ruled (by somebody else), And by Allah, I feel that Allah’s Apostle will die from this ailment of his, for I know how the faces of the offspring of 'Abdul Muttalib look at the time of their death. So let us go to Allah’s Apostle and ask him who will take over the Caliphate. If it is given to us we will know as to it, and if it is given to somebody else, we will inform him so that he may tell the new ruler to take care of us.” 'Ali said, “By Allah, if we asked Allah’s Apostle for it (i.e. the Caliphate) and he denied it us, the people will never give it to us after that. And by Allah, I will not ask Allah’s Apostle for it.”

[Source: Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 728]

Ali (radhiAllahu 'anhu) on Excessive love for Ahlul Bayt & the Slander of Abu Bakr and Umar (radhiAllahu 'anhum)

Ibn Battah reported in his al-Ibaanah al Kubraa, in the chapter: Mentioning the sections of the Nations in their religion and upon how many sects will the Ummah split into, from the Hadeeth of Abee ‘Alee bin Ismaa’eel bin al-Abbaas al-Warraaq who said: 

Al-Hassan bin Muhammad bin as-Sabaah az-Za’faraanee narrated to me that Shabbaabah said, that Sawaadah bin Salamah said that ‘Abdullaah bin Qays (رضي لله عن) said:

“A group of Christians came to ‘Alee (رضي لله عنه) and at the head of them was a major scholar of the Jews. So the leader said:

‘You debate about how many groups the Jews split into?’ He said: 'Into seventy one sects’.

And ‘Alee (رضي لله عنه) said: 'And this Ummah will split into similar to that, and the most deviated and evil sect of them: the ones who call to us (Ahlul Bayt), and a sign of them is that they insult Aboo Bakr and ‘Umar’”

Who was the Best of our Ummah?

On the minbar of Kufa, Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) is reported in a Mutawaatir Hadith to have said:

“The best of this Ummah after its Prophet is Abu Bakr and then Umar”

And this has been reported by the following companions:

Muhammad Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Abdu Khair, Abu Juhaifa Wahb Al-Sewai, Al-Nazal Ibn Sabura, Abu Al-Ja’d, Amr Ibn Huraith , Alqama Ibn Qais, Abu Mijlaz, Abdullah Ibn Salamah, Saed Ibn Qaes Al-khariqi, Abdullah Ibn Zurair Al-Qhafiqi, Al-Hakam Ibn Hajk, Zur Ibn Hubaish, Suwaid Ibn Ghafla, Amr Ibn Madikarib, Al-Harith, Ali Ibn Rabea Al-Walibi, Masada Al-Bujali, Abu Kathir, Abu Ishaq Al-Sabei, Amr Ibn Shurahabil

[As related in Bukhari, Ahmed, Ibn Abi Asim, Ibn Abi Shaiba, Ibn Asakir and others]

‘Alî b. Abî Tâlib (Allah be pleased with him) said:

“Shall I not tell you who the real faqîh is? He is one who does not make people despair of Allah’s mercy, yet he does not give them concessions to disobey Allah. He does not make them feel safe from Allah’s plan and he does not leave the Quran.

There is no good in worship that involves no efforts to gain fiqh, and there is no good in seeking fiqh without seeking a thorough understanding. And there is no good in reading without contemplating.”

—  [Al-Âjurrî in Akhlâq Al-’Ulamâ’ no. 45, Al-Khatîb in Al-Faqîh wa Al-Mutafaqqih Vol. 2 pp338-339. Shared from Sayings of the Salaf. Translated by Owais Al-Hashimi]
Ali (radhiAllahu 'anhu) on Abu Bakr (radhiAllahu 'anhu)

قيل لعلي ألا تستخلف قال ما استخلف رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فأستخلف عليكم وإن يرد الله تبارك وتعالى بالناس خيرا فسيجمعهم على خيرهم كما جمعهم بعد نبيهم على خيرهم

[الراوي: شقيق المحدث: الهيثمي – المصدر: مجمع الزوائد – الصفحة أو الرقم: 9/50]

خلاصة حكم المحدث: رجاله رجال الصحيح غير إسماعيل بن أبي الحارث وهو ثقة

From Al haythami in Mujama’a al Zawa'ed:

They said to Ali: “Will you not appoint a successor?” He said: “The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did not appoint a successor so that I may do so, If Allah wishes that something good happens to you then he will make you all gather around the best (Man) amongst you just like he made them gather around the best Man (i.e. Abu Bakr) after their Prophet (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam)”

[Rank: All narrators are that of the Sahih except Ismail bin Abi al Harith and he is Trustworthy].