Facts about the matter of caliphate
As we dwell into this chapter, the following facts will be established:
  1. The successor of the prophet is a divine matter and not a matter left to the people.
  2. Ahlul Bayt are the most qualified to be the successors of the prophet, based on logic and hadith.
  3. The prophet explicitly appointed Ali as his successor.
  4. The caliphate of Abu Bakr was not a result of a consultation, as many Muslims claim.
  5. The caliphate of Abu Bakr was based on a false premise.
  6. The caliphate of Abu Bakr was an usurpation executed at the Saqifa.
  7. Ahlul Bayt and their supporters rejected the caliphate of Abu Bakr.
  8. Ahlul Bayt and their supporters were forced to accept the illegitimate appointment of Abu Bakr.
  9. Ali did not pay allegiance to Abu Bakr for several months, until after the demise of Sitna Fatima.
  10. Ali argued against the caliphate of Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman.
  11. Ali reminded the Muslims of his unique virtues and the event of Ghadeer Khum.
  12. Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman were not qualified to be caliphs.
  13. All the false hadith the scholars and mainstream Muslims use to justify the caliphate of Abu Bakr were not even used by Abu Bakr at the Saqifa of Bani Sa'ad. They are all concoctions or misinterpreted.

It troubles me enormously to know that there are 73 sects within Islam and only one of them is on the right path. Does it not trouble you?

The holy prophet said: "Out of the seventy-one sects of the followers of Musa, only one was on the right path. The followers of Isa also divided their religion into seventy two sects, out of which only one was on the right path. Likewise there will be seventy three sects among my followers, out of which only one will be on the right path."
افترقت اليهود على احدى وسبعين فرقة فواحدة في الجنة وسبعون في النار وافترقت النصارى على اثنتين وسبعين فرقة فاحدى وسبعون في النار وواحدة في الجنة والذي نفس محمد بيده لتفترقن أمتي على ثلاث وسبعين فرقة فواحدة في الجنة واثنتان وسبعون في النار.
(ه) عن عوف بن مالك.‏
References:
     Ziyadat al-Jaami'i al-Sagheer, by Jalaludin al-Suyuti, #828 (حرف الهمزة)
     Sunan ibn Majah, vol 2, #3992 (كتاب الفتن. (179 باب افتراق الأمم)
     Sunan Abu Dawud, vol 2, #4596 (أول كتاب السنة. -1- باب شرح السُّنة)
     Kanz al-U'ummal, by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, vol 1, #1057, #1637, #1641 (by Ali), #1643 (by Ali) (الباب الثاني في الاعتصام بالكتاب والسنة)
     Kanz al-U'ummal, by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, vol 11, #30834 (الفصل الثاني {في الفتن والهرج)
     Majmau'u al-Zawa'id, by al-Hafidh al-Haythami, vol 1, #899 (كتاب العلم. 98. (بابان في البدع وأهلها), narrated by Anas ibn Malik
     Mu'ujam al-Tabarani, by Imam al-Tabarani, (باب الصاد. صدي بن العجلان. أبو غالب صاحب المحجن واسمه حزور)
     Mu'ujam al-Tabarani, by Imam al-Tabarani, (باب الظاء. عوف بن مالك الأشجعي. جبير بن نفير الحضرمي عن عوف بن مالك)
     Mu'ujam al-Tabarani, by Imam al-Tabarani, (باب الظاء. عوف بن مالك الأشجعي. راشد بن سعد عن عوف بن مالك)

Read more about hadith al-iftiraq...

Is it not true that Judaism, Christianity and Islam split into different groups, each holding fast to a different belief system and jurisprudence? No one can deny this fact. So according to hadith al-Iftiraq, out of all the Islamic denominations, only one is following the right path. Therefore, is it not the duty of every mindful Muslim to research which denomination is on the right path?? Among these differences is the matter of the Khilafat and whether the prophet appointed his successor or not.

In general, the mainstream Sunnis believe that the prophet left the matter of succession to the public, with a preference leaning towards Abu Bakr. The Twelver Shia'a however, maintain that the prophet explicitly appointed Ali as his successor, at different occasions of his mission, the last of them being the historical event of Ghadir Khum.

What is difficult to absorb is the argument that the prophet did not appoint his successor before his demise. Quite frankly, this is irrational for many logical reasons. In fact, it is more likely than not that the prophet appointed his successor simply because it makes more sense.

  1. It is unanimous that Allah is the one who decides on the matter of prophethood without exception. For instance, Adam, Noah, Abrahim and Jesus were all appointed by Allah to be prophets. It is also Allah who decides on the matter of their succession. For instance, Allah (and not te people) appointed Ismai'il to be the successor of Ibrahim, or Yehya to be the successor of Zakariya or for Muhammad to be the successor of Jesus. So the matter of prophethood and its successorship have always been a divine matter, without exception. On this basis, the successor of the seal of prophethood, Muhammad, is also decided by Allah only. Is this not commonsense?

  2. Besides, Who knows best about the most qualified person to succeed the prophet? It has been reported that the prophet used to ask the different tribes to protect him so he can deliver his message. Some of the tribes would accept on the condition that the matter of the caliphate was offered to that tribe. The prophet would respond saying that this matter was not for him to decide on but it was Allah's. I will now provide some of these narrations, available in the Sunni and Shia resources.

    Ibn Hisham in his Sirah, al-Tabari in his Tarikh, ibn Katheer in his Sirah, al-Sira al-Halabiya, Muhammad Husayn Haykal in his Hayat Muhammad, I'imad al-Deen al-A'amiri in Bahjat al-Mahhafel have all reported the following story:

    أتى بني عامر بن صعصعة فدعاهم الى الله عز وجل، وعرض عليهم نفسه، فقال له رجل منهم يقال له بيحرة بن فراس: والله لو أني أخذت هذا الفتى من قريش لأكلت به العرب، ثم قال له: أرأيت إن نحن بايعناك على أمرك، ثم أظهرك الله على من خالفك، أيكون لنا الأمر من بعدك؟
    قال: الأمر الى الله، يضعه حيث يشاء
    قال فقال له: أفنهدف نحورنا للعرب دونك، فإذا أظهرك الله كان الأمر لغيرنا! لا حاجة لنا بأمرك! فأبوا عليه.
    فلما صدر الناس، رجعت بنو عامر الى شيخ لهم، قد كانت أدركته السن حتى لا يقدر أن يوافى معهم المواسم، فكانوا إذا رجعوا إليه حدثوه بما يكون في ذلك الموسم، فلما قدموا عليه ذلك العام سألهم عما كان في موسمهم، فقالوا: جاءنا فتىً من قريش ثم أحد بني عبد المطلب، يزعم أنه نبي يدعونا الى أن نمنعه ونقوم معه ونخرج به الى بلادنا، قال: فوضع الشيخ يديه على رأسه، ثم قال: يا بني عامر هل لها من تلافٍ؟! هل لذناباها من مُطَّلب؟! والذي نفس فلانٍ بيده ما تقوَّلها إسماعيليٌّ قط، وإنها لحق، فأين رأيكم كان عنكم!

    ibn Katheer also reported a similar narration in his Sirah book:

    قال عبد الله بن الأجلح: وحدثني أبي عن أشياخ قومه، أن كندة قالت له: إن ظفرت تجعل لنا الملك من بعدك؟
    فقالوا: لا حاجة لنا فيما جئتنا به!. انتهى

    ibn Katheer also reported another narration in his Sirah book:

    عن ابن عباس أن أربد بن قيس بن جزء بن خالد بن جعفر بن كلاب، وعامر بن الطفيل بن مالك، قدما المدينة على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فانتهيا إليه وهو جالس، فجلسا بين يديه: فقال عامر بن الطفيل:
    يا محمد، ما تجعل لي إن أسلمت؟
    فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: لك ما للمسلمين وعليك ما عليهم
    قال عامر: أتجعل لي الأمر إن أسلمت، من بعدك؟
    فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: ليس ذلك لك، ولا لقومك، ولكن لك أعنة الخيل
    قال: أنا الآن في أعنة خيل نجد، إجعل لي الوَبَر، ولك المَدَر
    قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: لا
    فلما قفل من عنده، قال عامر: أما والله لأملأنها عليك خيلاً ورجالاً!
    فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: يمنعك الله

    So clearly, not only is it logical that the matter of the caliphate is a matter of Allah to decide on, as is prophethood, but the prophet made that point clear as well, from early on.

    Furthermore, the prophet accepted the allegiance of the Ansars on 3 conditions: they protect him from whatever they protect themselves, they protect his household and progeny from whatever they protected their household and progeny, and finally they don't usurp the caliphate from its rightful owner. These were the conditions they Ansars had to accept and fulfill if they were accept the prophet as their leader. Here is the proof:

    عن عبادة بن الصامت قال: بايعنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على السمع والطاعة في المنشط والمكره، وأن لا ننازع الأمر أهله، وأن نقوم أو نقول بالحق حيثما كنا، لا نخاف في الله لومة لائم.

    The above hadith was reported in many Sunni books such as Sahih Muslim and al-Bukhari, Musnad Ahmad, Sunan al-Nisa'i and ibn Majah, al-Tarikh al-Kabeer by al-Bukhari, etc. This hadith is also authentic.

    al-Hafidh al-Haythami reported in his book Majamu'ul Zawa'id:

    عن عبادة بن الصامت أن أسعد بن زرارة قال: يا أيها الناس، هل تدرون على ما تبايعون محمداً صلى الله عليه وسلم؟ إنكم تبايعونه أن تحاربوا العرب والعجم، والجن والإنس! فقالوا: نحن حرب لمن حارب، وسلم لمن سالم.
    قالوا: يارسول الله إشترط.
    قال: تبايعوني على أن: تشهدوا أن لا إلَه إلا الله، وأني رسول الله، وتقيموا الصلاة وتؤتوا الزكاة، والسمع والطاعة، وأن لا تنازعوا الأمر أهله، وأن تمنعوني مما تمنعون منه أنفسكم وأهليكم.
    وعن حسين بن علي قال: جاءت الأنصار تبايع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على العقبة فقال: يا علي قم فبايعهم، فقال علي: ما أبايعهم يا رسول الله؟
    قال: على أن يطاع الله ولا يعصى، وعلى أن تمنعوا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وأهل بيته وذريته، مما تمنعون منه أنفسكم وذراريكم. انتهى.

  3. The prophet had many functions, which can be summarized by the following: he receives revelation, he makes clear the revelation to his followers, he makes sure the worshipping aspects of the religion are executed properly, and he is the judge of the people. The first function ends with his prophethood. What about the remaining three? Do they end after the demise of the prophet? What happens when the companions differ on certain issues? Who will make clear to them what they did not understand or forget? Who will make sure the Hajj, al-Zakkat and many of the practices are executed properly? Who will be the judge after the prophet? Should not all these functions be transfered to someone after the prophet? Should he not be the one to decide who is the best fit to take over these functions? Is this not one of purpose of hadith al-Thaqalayn?

  4. The prophet brought up the matter of the caliphate at the start of this preaching. He bought it up when verse 26:214 was revealed. When this verse was revealed, the prophet invited the Bani Hashim so that he communicate to them his message. In that meeting, he asked them:
    I bring the best of this world and the world after, since God has commanded me to summon you to him. Which of you will aid me in this matter?
    إني قد جئتكم بخير الدنيا والآخرة وقد أمرني الله أن أدعوكم إليه، فأيكم يؤازرني على أمري هذا؟

    No one from Bani Hashim accepted to support the prophet except Ali ibn Abi Talib, who said:

    They all held back, and even though I was the youngest, I said "I will be your helper, O' prophet of God." He put his hand on the back of my neck and said "This is my brother, my executor (Wasi), my successor (Caliph) among you, so listen to him and obey him."
    فقلت وأنا أحدثهم سنا وأرمصهم عينا وأعظمهم بطنا وأحمشهم ساقا: أنا يا نبي الله أكون وزيرك عليه! فأخذ برقبتي فقال: إن هذا أخي ووصيي وخليفتي فيكم فاسمعوا له وأطيعوا.

    So Yes! From the start, the prophet had chosen Ali his brother, his executor and legatee and his successor, just like Harun was chosen by Allah to be Musa's brother, supporter and successor. This was not the choice of the prophet but a devine order. As we said earlier, the matter of successorship is Alla's decision and no one else's.

  5. If you read the section on Imamate, you will learn that imamate means to uphold and protect the Ummah, it is succession to Prophethood. The successor of the prophet or 'Absolute Imamate' is an individual who shares all the traits of Prophets but is not a prophet, he is the mirror image of prophethood, the position of Imamate is like that of Prophethood, its obedience is compulsory on the Ummah, imamate acts on behalf of Prophethood. Were the companions, with their limited knowledge, capable of choosing a successor who meets these descriptions? Were they capable of electing someone who is the mirror image of prophet, who would have been a prophet if prophet Muhammad was not the Seal of prophethood?? Is such a position decided by consultation of the people? Can you compare this position to the leader of a tribe and thus elect him by consultation? Just like Allah is best qualified to choose his prophets, He's also best qualified to choose the Imam of the Ummah, the mirror image of prophethood.

  6. The prophet was worried about his Ummah. The religion was new, weak and vulnerable. The prophet warned his companions about turning apostates after his demise, about competing for the pleasures of this world, about going astray by cutting the necks of each other, about introducing innovations into the religion. He even warned them that some of his companions will be taken to hell for what they have innovated after his demise. [reference: companions chapter]. How is it possible for the prophet to leave the matter of successorship to the companions to decide on??? How dare you believe that the prophet left his Ummah without a shepherd who will look after it? Was not any companion curious enough to ask the prophet about the matter of imamate?? Were not the companions worried about the different traditions in which the prophet foretold the divisions of the Ummah and its forthcoming calamities and how people will turn back to their heels and will slaughter one another and introduce innovations in Islam???

    Moreover, he was well aware that Islam was threatened by not only the hypocrites who were living among the believers, but also by the Persian and Byzantins empires. These enemies were waiting for the right opportunity to diffuse the work of the prophet and make Islam vanish from the earth. With these threats in mind, how could you believe that such a great and honorable leader did not appoint his successor to guide and protect his ummah from the enemies who were eager to destroy Islam and its adherents?

  7. Even if we assume for a moment that the successor of the prophet is a matter left for the people to resolve by consultation, why has not this matter been taken care of before the demise of the prophet? As we all know, the prophet did not suddenly pass away. He had plenty of time to allow the people to choose the next leader of the Ummah and give this leader his blessings. So why did not the prophet allow such consultation to take place under his impartial arbitration to ensure that his successor was properly selected by the people and unanimous Baya'at was given to him under his supervision. Is this not the responsibility of every leader? Is this is not how new leaders are chosen before the current ones step down? Would this not have saved great pain to the Ummah? Did he fail the Ummah in that respect? I guess, when one uses the Sunni view, one could say that Abu Bakr and Umar did not fail the Ummah in that respect. Right?

    Abu Bakr appointed Umar as his successor before he passed away (and this is far from a consultation). Umar formed a council of 6 companions who would appoint Umar's successor, being one of the six (and this is also far from a consultation). So even the Sunni's view of how the caliph must be chosen was not followed by Abu Bakr and Umar. Now, are you going to tell me that the prophet failed to appoint his successor while Abu Bakr and Umar succeeded? The prophet could have very well allowed the people to elect their own successor (imam) by consultation under his supervision, to ensure his legitimacy. This way, the prophet could have passed on peacefully, leaving behind a leader with his blessings and acceptance of the people, to protect the Ummah from imminent threats. Moreover, he would have removed any worries regarding any confrontations between the Muslims that could be caused by any desagreements on leadership. However, it did not happen. There was no election before the demise of the prophet. Why wasn't there any? Could it be because he had already appointed his successor???

  8. Every time the prophet had to leave Medina for an expedition, he left behind a deputy to take care of the people. For instance, when he left for the expedition of Tabuk, he appointed Imam Ali as his deputy in Medina. Would it not be absurd for the prophet not to appoint someone to succeed him after his demise??

  9. Is it possible that no one among the companions was curious enough to ask the prophet about the caliph of the Muslims after his demise? Not even one? Every prophet appointed -by Devine order- his successor before his demise. How could prophet Muhammad, the greatest of all prophets, not do the same thing? How could someone accept this fallacy? What kind of leader would he be to leave his Ummah without even bringing up this matter to the people, especially when we know that he spent over 2 decades strengthening this nation, educating it and civilizing it? It is just absurd to believe such a thing. In fact, it would be an insult to the prophet to believe such an absurdity.

  10. Although the power of logic is sufficient to prove that the prophet could not have died without appointing a successor, there are many hadith that strenghten this fact. These hadiths show that the prophet made Ali his brother, his heir, his executor and successor, as all prophets followed that path.

    The Most Noble Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his family, said: "Every prophet has a legatee (wasiyy) and an heir (warith), and 'Ali is my legatee and heir."
    References:
         Ibn Asakir, al-Tarikh, Vol. III, p. 5
         Riyad al-Nadirah, Vol. II, p. 178

    As the next narration shows, Ali was the heir of prophet Muhammad:

    When the prophet was pairing the companions into brotherhood, Ali remained the last companion and no one else was left to be paired with like the others. Ali's heart was torn apart when he saw that the prophet did not pair him with anyone. The prophet told him: "By the one who sent me for the Truth, I did not leave you for last but so that I can be paired with you. You are unto me what Aaron was unto Moses but with this exception that there is no prophethood after me. You are my brother and my heir." Ali asked the prophet: "What will I inherit from you, O messenger of Allah?" The prophet replied: "You will inherit what my predecessors inherited." Ali asked: "And what have the prophets before you inherited?" The prophet answered: "The Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the prophets. And you will be with me in my castle in Heaven with Fatima, my daughter, and you are my brother and my companion."
    من مسند زيد بن أبي أوفى} لما آخى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بين أصحابه، قال علي: لقد ذهب روحي وانقطع ظهري حين رأيتك فعلت بأصحابك ما فعلت غيري فإن كان هذا من سخط علي فلك العتبى والكرامة فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: والذي بعثني بالحق ما أخرتك إلا لنفسي وأنت مني بمنزلة هارون من موسى غير أنه لا نبي بعدي وأنت أخي ووارثي، قال: وما أرث منك يا رسول الله؟ قال: ما ورثت الأنبياء من قبلي، قال: وما ورثت الأنبياء من قبلك؟ قال: كتاب ربهم وسنة نبيهم، وأنت معي في قصري في الجنة مع فاطمة بنتي وأنت أخي ورفيقي.

    When the prophet summoned his tribe for the declaration of Islam, he appointed Ali as his successor and executor. Some will argue that this appointement is confined to his tribe since they were the only people present that night. It sure appears to be that way, but it is not. But you will not come to this conclusion unless you read the entire chapter. That night, the prophet put his hand on Ali's neck and said:

    ...This is my brother, my executor (Wasi), my successor (Caliph) among you, so listen to him and obey him.
    فأخذ برقبتي فقال: إن هذا أخي ووصيي وخليفتي فيكم فاسمعوا له وأطيعوا،

    A another occasion, the prophet told his daughter Fatima:

    Don't you know that Allah looked down upon the earth and chose your father to make him His prophet, then He looked down a second time to choose Ali as a husband to you as it was revealed and made him my executor.
    أما علمت أن الله عز وجل أطلع على أهل الأرض فاختار منهم أباك فبعثه نبيا، ثم اطلع ثانية فاختار بعلك فأوحى إلي فأنكحته واتخذته وصيا - قاله لفاطمة

    Oh God, whoever had faith in me and believed me must take Ali as his master. His mastership is like my mastership and my mastership is like that of Allah's.
    اللهم! من آمن بي وصدقني فليتول علي بن أبي طالب فإن ولايته ولايتي وولايتي ولاية الله

    That Ali was the only one who could implement the religion of the prophet and fulfil his promises.

    يا علي! أنت تغسل جثتي وتؤدي ديني وتواريني في حفرتي وتفي بذمتي وأنت صاحب لوائي في الدنيا والآخرة

    عن علي قال: لما نزلت (وانذر عشيرتك الأقربين) قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: علي يقضي ديني وينجز بوعدي

  11. The following is a very important point. We all know that Abu Bakr's caliphate was executed at al-Saqifa and was witnessed by many of the Ansars (al-Awss and al-Khazraj) and three of the Muhajereens (Abu Bakr, Umar and Abu Ubayda ibn al-Jarrah). The meeting at the Saqifa was without the knowledge of the rest of the Muhajereens (and the Bani Hashem), who were preparing the burial of the prophet. Now, what would have been the outcome of this (illegitimate) meeting if all the uninformed companions had attended, and in particular Ahlul Bayt and their followers? Would Abu Bakr have been the caliph or would it have been someone else? This is just something to think about.

    We also know that the Muhajereens' argument to have more right over the matter of the caliphate was their kinship to the prophet. Let me just quote some of the narrations to illustrate the argument of Abu Bakr and Umar (this is from the chapter of the Saqifa):

    فبدأ أبو بكر فحمد الله ..... وهم أولياؤه وعشيرته وأحق الناس بهذا الأمر من بعده ولا ينازعهم ذلك إلا ظالم
    ...Abu Bakr said: "...Allah made the Muhajireens the first on earth to worship Allah and were the patrons and the clan of the Prophet who tolerated and suffered with him and adversities and injuries inflicted upon them by their own folk who disbelieved them and all other people opposed them and alienated them...They are the first on earth to have believed in Allah and His messenger; they are his supporters and from his tribe and have more rights over this matter than anyone else; and no one shall challenge them on this matter but the wicked.

    In another version of the story:

    فتكلم ‏ ‏أبو بكر ‏ ‏فكان هو أحلم مني وأوقر والله ما ترك من كلمة أعجبتني في تزويري إلا قال في بديهته مثلها أو أفضل منها حتى سكت فقال ما ذكرتم فيكم من خير فأنتم له أهل ولن يعرف هذا الأمر إلا لهذا الحي من ‏ ‏قريش ‏ ‏هم أوسط ‏ ‏العرب ‏ ‏نسبا ودارا
    ...but this question (of Caliphate) is only for the Quraish as they are the best of the Arabs as regards descent and home, and I am pleased to suggest that you choose either of these two men, so take the oath of allegiance to either of them as you wish.

    In another narration, Basheer ibn Sa'ad al-Ansari bought into that argument:

    فقام بشير بن سعد أبو النعمان بن بشير فقال يا معشر الأنصار إنا والله لئن كنا أولي فضيلة في جهاد المشركين وسابقة في هذا الدين ما أردنا به إلا رضا ربنا وطاعة نبينا والكدح لأنفسنا فما ينبغي لنا أن نستطيل على الناس بذلك ولا نبتغي به من الدنيا عرضا فإن الله ولي المنة علينا بذلك ألا إن محمدا من قريش وقومه أحق به وأولى وايم الله لا يراني الله أنازعهم هذا الأمر أبدا فاتقوا الله ولا تخالفوهم ولا تنازعوهم
    Basheer ibn Sa'ad al-Khazraji said: "Oh Ansars! By God, we are superiors in the holy war against the pagans and have preceded all in this religion. But we did not aim except the pleasure of God and the obedience to our prophet besides the drudgery to ourselves. Therefore, it is not befitting for us to impose ourselves upon the people for that score nor seek the width of the world since God has already favored us. Mohammad is from Quraish and his people rightfully and first to him. Is it not so? I swear on God that He may not see me competing with them in this matter. No, never. Fear God and do not compete with them."

    Umar supported that view:

    والله لا ترضى العرب أن يؤمروكم ونبيها من غيركم ولكن العرب لا تمنع أن تولي أمرها من كانت النبوة فيهم وولي أمورهم منهم ولنا بذلك على من أبى من العرب الحجة الظاهرة والسلطان المبين من ذا ينازعنا سلطان محمد وإمارته ونحن أولياؤه وعشيرته إلا مدل بباطل أو متجانف لإثم ومتورط في هلكة
    By God the Arabs will never accept your rule since their Prophet is not from you, but they will not reject the rule of one from whom is their Prophet. If anyone refuses our authority, we will [produce] a clear rebuttal and an evident proof. Who would dispute us with regard to Muhammad's authority and rule except the falsely guided one, or the erring one, or the one damned when we are his close associates and kinsfolk".

    As you can see, they bought the Ansars into appointing one of the Muhajereens to be the successor of the prophet on the basis of Kinship to the prophet. Not only is their premise false and a lie, but it would not have passed if Ali alone was in that meeting. It was a lie because Ali was the cousin and the brother of the prophet in this world and the Hereafter. So he was the closer to the prophet than any of the three Muhajereens at attended that illegitimate meeting.

    In fact, the following is Ali's response to their false premise, when he was forcefully brought to Abu Bakr to pay allegiance to him:

    فقال: " أنا أحق بهذا الأمر منكم، لا أُبايعكم وأنتم أولى بالبيعة لي، أخذتم هذا الأمر من الأنصار، واحتججتم عليهم بالقرابة من النبي (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)، وتأخذونه منا أهل البيت غصباً؟ ألستم زعمتم للأنصار أنكم أولى بهذا الأمر منهم لما كان محمّد (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) منكم، فأعطوكم المقادة، وسلموا إليكم الإمارة، وأنا أحتجّ عليكم بمثل ما احتججتم به على الأنصار، نحن أولى برسول الله حيّاً وميتاً فأنصفونا إن كنتم تؤمنون، وإلا فبوؤوا بالظلم وأنتم تعلمون ".
    Ali responded: "I have more right in this matter than all of you. I will not give the Baya'a when it is you all who must give me Baya'at. You have taken this matter from the Ansars on the basis of kinship to the prophet and you took it from us, Ahlul Bayt, with great anger. Did you not tell the Ansars that you are more deserving of this matter (the caliphate) on the basis of your closeness and kinship to the prophet, so they gave it to you? Now I challenge you on this matter in the same way you have challenged the Ansars. We have more rights to the Messenger of Allah, alive of dead. So be right to us if you are believers or dwell in the darkness while you know."

    So clearly, the argument used during that meeting would have been slammed to the ground if Ali was present. But of course, it was not to their advantage to have Ali around, which is certainly why they kept all the others uninformed!

    When Bashir ibn Sa'ad al-Ansari (the same Bashir who bought into the Muhajereens' argument at the Saqifa) heard Ali's argument against Abu Bakr's caliphate, he told Ali that if they had heard that before giving the Baya'a to Abu Bakr, no one would have desagreed with him (Ali)...

    فقال بشير بن سعد الأنصاري: لو كان هذا الكلام سمعته الأنصار منك ـ يا علي! ـ قبل بيعتها لأبي بكر ما اختلف عليك اثنان.

    So clearly, not only have they usurped the caliphate, but they would not have been successful if Ali and his supporters were in that meeting as well. If they were, this would have been a true consultation. But of course, such a consultation would not have played out as they would have desired it to. More of this is in chapter of the Saqifa and the chapter discussing the attack of the house of Fatima.

  12. The mere fact that Ahlul Bayt rejected the appointment and caliphate of ABu Bakr questions its legitimacy. We all know that what the prophet says is to be followed and not to be argued, even when the whole world desagrees with him. Ahlul Bayt occupy the same status. They are the inheritors of the knowledge of the prophet, they are the second of the Thaqalayn to be followed and obeyed unconditionally and they are ulil Amr (those with authority). Therefore, what they accept and reject is also to be accepted and rejected. So their caregorical rejection of the caliphate of Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman is clear and undisputable indication of the illegitimacy of these caliphates. It is really that simple.

    This is exactly why following Ahlul Bayt is crucial. It helps us distinguish falsehood from truth. You can't claim to love and honor and follow Ahlul Bayt AND Abu Bakr, Uthman and Umar at the same time. This means you embrace truth and falsehood. This means you love, honor and follow the prophet and his enemies. Ahlul Bayt rejected the caliphate of the first three caliphs and considered them illegitimate, and so did all the Imams of Ahlul Bayt. Not only that, Ahlul Bayt desagreed with many of the deeds and verdicts and actions of the first three caliphs, which violated and transformed the Sunnah of the prophet.

So logically, it is ludicrous to think that the prophet did not appoint his successor, when on the same token, all the prophets did and all the caliphs did.

As for those who claim that the prophet left the matter of imamate for his people to resolve through consultation (al-Shura), there is no basis for this. There is no authentic hadith that supports this claim. The prophet never said to any of his companions that his successor should be appointed by means of consultation. If you claim this is true, then why was not the appointment of Abu Bakr based on consultation? What about that of Umar or Uthman?? Why did not Ali let his successor be selected based on consultation?? Clearly, all the caliphs violated the Sunnah of the prophet in that case, even Ali who is from the purified Ahlul Bayt and the second of the Thaqalayn?? Do you now see where this nonsense lead us to?

Finally, only Allah knows who is best qualified to be the successor of the prophet. Just like He appointed prophets, he also appointed their successors to carry on their legacy. Nothing proves that this method of appointing the successor would change for the seal of prophets.

This is just a logical argument to support the claim that prophet Muhammad appointed his successor and that successorship is a matter decided by Allah and no one else. The more solid and irrefutable proof of such claim is provided in the upcoming sections.