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Question text

Nahjul Balagha, Letter 6 states: Verily, those who took the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman have sworn allegiance to me. Now those who were present at the election have no right to go back against their oaths of allegiance and those who were not present on the occasion have no right to oppose me. And so far as Shura limited franchise or selection was concerned it was supposed to be limited to Muhajirs and Ansars and it was also supposed that whomsoever they selected, became caliph as per approval and pleasure of Allah. How do us Shia explain this? Isn’t Imam Ali as supporting the caliphs?

Visits 589 categorization: Nahj Al-Balagha

Imam Ali (a.s) never supported wrong leadership and he was always clear that he is the real successor of the Prophet (s.a.w.a). This narration in Nahjul Balaghah is a letter reported to be sent from Imam Ali (as) to Mo'awiyah Bin Abi Sofyan when he refused the Caliphate of Imam Ali (a.s). Imam Ali was proving to him as a follower of Abu Bakr and Umar and Uthman, that as you look at them as Caliphs, the same way through which they claimed Caliphate has come to me, so, you should also accept as you accepted their Caliphate. This is a way of argument using the claim of the opponent to prove what he is denying. It does not at all mean that Imam Ali (a.s) was approving the governments of the previous three before him. Wassalam. Mohammad al-Musawi

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