Response to: Did Maula Ali (as) Offer Prayers Under the ‘Imamate’ of Abu Bakar?

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The following is a response to ShiaPen’s article: Did Maula Ali (as) Offer Prayers Under the ‘Imamate’ of Abu Bakar? The article can be found here.

The following is a response to ShiaPen’s article: Did Maula Ali (as) Offer Prayers Under the ‘Imamate’ of Abu Bakar? The article can be found here.

In this article, ShiaPen makes two claims. The first is that `Ali did not pray behind Abu Bakr. The second is that praying behind someone does not mean that the Imam is superior.

We are in agreement with ShiaPen that the Imam of the prayer is not necessarily superior to those that pray behind him. There is a consensus among the people of Islam that the Prophet (salalahu alaihi wa salam) prayed behind Abu Bakr, and yet, there is no difference of opinion that he (salalahu alaihi wa salam) was superior to Abu Bakr. However, we wish that the Shia who quote the Sunni narration of `Isa (as) praying behind the Mahdi to stop claiming that this is a proof for the superiority of the Mahdi over all prophets.

With this in mind, there is no reason for Shias to doubt that `Ali prayed behind Abu Bakr.

Ironically, ShiaPen quotes a narration to prove that Ali’s prayer behind Abu Bakr was a show, and that he prayed silently to himself. The narration goes as follows:

 ۔۔۔ وحضر المسجد ووقف خلف ابى بكر وصلى لنفسه وخالد بن الوليد إلى جنبه ومعه السيف فلما ۔۔۔

 Ali (as) entered the mosque, and got behind Abu Bakr, and started offering his prayers alone (Waa Sala le Nafsihi)

However, when we return to the source of the narration, which is Tafseer Al-Qummi, we find that this is the chain used for the report:

حدثني أبي عن ابن أبي عمير عن عثمان بن عيسى وحماد بن عثمان عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام

“My father narrated to me, from Ibn Abi Umair, from Uthman bin Eisa and Hammad bin Uthman from Abi Abdullah (alaihi alsalam)…”

We say: The narration is weak since there is no proof that the book is correctly attributed to Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Qummi. The narration also comes through Ibrahim bin Hashim who is an anonymous narration and has not been praised or referred to as trustworthy by the early Shia hadith scholars. Most importantly, according to ShiaPen’s standards, the narration should be rejected since they hold that Ibn Abi Umair is weak. See their article entitled: The Episode Recorded by Shaykh Majlisi, which can be found here.

As for Ahlul-Sunnah, `Ali prayed behind Abu Bakr right after the death of the Prophet (saw), and their relation was good, and this is an event that took place right after prayer which hits two birds with one stone:

عن عقبة بن الحارث قال: خرجت مع أبي بكر الصديق رضي الله عنه من صلاة العصر بعد وفاة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بليال وعلي عليه السلام يمشي إلى جنبه فمر بحسن بن علي يلعب مع غلمان فاحتمله على رقبته وهو يقول: هو بأبي شبه النبي ليس شبيها بعلي قال: وعلي يضحك

Narrated by Ahmad and al-Bukhari:

[`Uqbah bin al-Harith said: I left with Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq after `Asr prayer, a couple of nights after the death of the prophet (saw) and `Ali was walking next to him, so he passed by al-Hasan bin `Ali who was playing with some kids. I saw Abu Bakr carrying al-Hasan on his shoulder, saying, ‘By my father, he resembles the the Prophet, not `Ali’ and `Ali was laughing.]

Matter of the fact is, since it is common knowledge that `Ali prayed in congregation behind the Khulafa’, the Shia did not like this so they invented a narration to show that Abu Bakr ordered Khalid to kill `Ali while he was praying behind him.

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