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Rasulullah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) appointing Sayyiduna 'Ali (radiyallahu 'anhu) as his vicegerent

Question

Kindly comment on the authenticity of the following narration as well as the correct explanation as the Shi’ah misinterpret the Hadith,

Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu):

‘You are to me as Harun was to Musa (‘alayhimas salam), except that there is no Nabi after me’

Answer

Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) and Imam Muslim (rahimahullah) have both recorded this narration in their Sahih. The narration is therefore authentic.

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 3706 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 6167 )

 

Commentary

Qadi ‘Iyad (rahimahullah) explains:

This Hadith in no way is a proof for the Shi’ah, Rawafid (extreme type of Shi’ah) or any other deviant sect. Rather this Hadith merely shows the virtue of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu) and that he is  not lower in rank than any other Sahabi.

 

Qadi ‘Iyad (rahimahullah) further explains:

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said this to Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu) when he appointed him as the vicegerent of Madinah Munawarah when the Muslim army left for the battle of Tabuk. Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu) felt that he should go out in battle rather than stay behind and take charge of the women, children and old. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) consoled him and said: ‘Just as Musa (‘alayhis salam) left Harun (‘alayhis salam) in charged, similarly I am leaving you behind in charged’. This does not indicate that Sayiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu) should have been the Khalifa after the demise of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) as well.

Musa (‘alayhis salam) had appointed Harun (‘alayhis salam) as the vicegerent when he left to converse with Allah Ta’ala. Harun (‘alayhis salam) did not become the Khalifah after Musa (‘alayhis salam)’s demise, in fact Historians say that Harun (‘alayhis salam) passed away forty years  before the demise of Musa (‘alayhis salam). So just as Harun (‘alayhis salam) was appointed as a vicegerent for the short duration of Musa (‘alayhis salam)’s absence, so too was Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu) appointed as a vicegerent for the period that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was gone out in Jihad.

(Ikmalul M’ulim of Qadi ‘Iyad, under Hadith: 2404. Also see Al Minhaj of Imam Nawawi, Fathul Bari, Hadith: 3706 and Tuhfatul Ahwadhi, Hadith: 3733)

 

One should also bear in mind that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) had also appointed other Sahabah (on some occasions) as vicegerents like Sayyiduna ‘Abullah ibn Ummi Maktum and Sayyiduna S’ad ibn ‘Ubadah in his absence.

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best

 

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

 

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar