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Shia answers: In what conditions did Imam Ali (AS) accept the Caliphate?

Imam Ali accept Caliphate

SHAFAQNA- In what conditions did Imam Ali (AS) accept the Caliphate?

According to the Shia belief, after the demise of the Prophet of Islam (PBUH), those who did not have enough ability and competence for this responsibility took charge of the affairs of the Islamic society, and this caused that during the 25 years after the demise of the Prophet (PBUH), many opportunities will be missed.
The extraordinary expansion of the territory of Islamic rule and excessive attention to military victories had made the rulers neglect training  religious issues, and as a result, the society was facing a great cultural void.

The forgetting of many of the traditions of the Messenger of God (PBUH), the loss of many of the Companions, the eager of many of the surviving Companions for being in welfare and comfort, and other frequent changes that had occurred in those years had dimmed the hope of reforming the nascent Islamic society. And for this reason, Imam Ali (AS), foreseeing very difficult conditions in the future, initially refused to accept the Caliphate and had no desire to accept the government. Finally, it was due to the repeated insistence of the people that he felt it his duty to take control of the affairs.

Imam Ali accept Caliphate?
In what conditions did Imam Ali (A.S) accept the Caliphate? ©Shafaqna

 

Conditions of the society during the caliphate of Imam Ali (AS)

Islam is a comprehensive program for the life of people in this world and the hereafter and wants people to have a happy life full of spirituality in this world so that they can achieve eternal happiness which is the eternal life in the hereafter.

The Messenger of God (PBUH) presented the roots and generalities of this program during his mission; But the explanation of its details was the responsibility of his successors, who should continue this path. According to the Shia belief, after the demise of the Messenger of God (PBUH), those who did not have the ability and competence for this responsibility took charge of affairs, and this caused many opportunities to be lost during the 25 years since the demise of the Messenger of God (PBUH).

One of the points that should be taken into account when describing the conditions of the society during the caliphate of Imam Ali (AS) was the extraordinary expansion of the territory of the Islamic government. The conquests had brought many areas under the control of the Islamic government and had left many effects on the Islamic society. On the one hand, it greatly increased the political power of the Islamic government and it also had left a lot of economic effects on the Islamic community.

On the other hand, many people had converted to Islam or were under the cover of the Islamic government as Dhimmī, who had no knowledge of the Prophet’s (PBUH) Sirah; But paying too much attention to military victories made the rulers neglect cultural work and teaching religious issues, and as a result, the society was facing a big cultural void.

Within the society, the wide deviations that appeared especially during the caliphate of Uthman, the forgetting of many of the traditions of the Messenger of God (PBUH), the loss of many of the Companions and the eager of the surviving Companions for being in welfare and comfort, the increase in the financial, political and social power of the Umayyads, which with the support Uthman had dominated the affairs of Muslims’ society and Baytul-maal, and the many other changes that had occurred in these years had dimmed the hope of reforming the society and improving the chaotic situation of the nascent Islamic society.

It was for this reason that Imam Ali (AS) initially refused to accept the caliphate, anticipating very difficult conditions in the future, and in response to the people’s insistence, he said: “Leave me and seek some one else. We are facing a matter which has (several) faces and colors, which neither hearts can stand nor intelligence can accept. Clouds are hovering over the sky, and faces are not discernible.”

Imam Ali (AS) saw the future situation difficult

Imam Ali (AS) saw the future situation as influenced by the past and very difficult, and he did not want to accept the government. Later events also showed that his analysis was completely correct. Finally, it was due to the repeated insistence of the people that he felt it his duty to take control of the affairs.

Therefore, if the caliphate was entrusted to Imam Ali (AS) after the demise of the Messenger of God (PBUH), he would be able to manage the society according to the Book of God and the Sunnah of the Messenger of God (PBUH). But after 25 years, the situation had completely changed and due to the unfavorable situation of the society and the loss of opportunities and the spread of heresies, the conditions for achieving these goals were not suitable and therefore, many of the efforts of Imam Ali (AS) in the path of reforming the society remained incomplete.

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