Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Caliphates of Usman and Ali. Someone asked Ali... - Prose of Ramadhan Part 64

The best caliphs were those best in servanthood.
In the Islamic Caliphate after the passing of Muhammad Habibullah, the four earlier caliphs were considered the best of the best, and called the Caliphs ar-Rashi-dun (the rightly guided caliphs). First, Abu Bakar, then Umar, next was Usman and last was Ali. Each had their own personality and wonderful character - real live human beings and not some two dimensional historical personalities.

During Umar's governance, the Muslim writ expanded greatly to cover the neighbouring regions in the Middle East, particularly Persia. After such massive expansion during the time of the Umar, Ali, now the 4th Caliph, had to deal with some of the niggling political and administrative problems continuing from Umar and Usman's time. Amongst his working group there were some who made unfavourable comparisons between Ali's administration and Usman's. I was not there actually, but a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend was. I think it is hilarious and I have faithfully recorded the conversation as follows -

267. Someone asked Ali
Someone asked Ali,
“Oh, Khalifah, how is it that
During Usman’s time, there
Were never all these problems?

Ali replied,
“Of course, during Usman’s time
I was there to advise him, now
I only have you advising me!”

God bless the 4 Rightly-guided Caliphs, the Companions and indeed all Caliphs in our history. And God bless you, sunshine. For taking the trouble to drop in at the Sinners' Almanac. I don't care who you are and in what religion you worship the One God. May you have the patience and truthfulness of Abu Bakar, the courage and steadfastness of Umar, the sincerity and modesty of Usman and the chivalry and nobility of Ali . These are the prayers I have in my hand now, and I am told not to discriminate. So take them and have a beautiful day.
If you can take care of goats or sheep, you can take care of mankind.
For they are the most difficult stock to care for. Just like man.
Pax Taufiqa.

PS - correction, 8.30am 25th August 2011 - the caliphate choronology should read Abu Bakar, Umar, Usman and Ali of course. And the poem's comparison is between Usman and Ali's caliphate, not Umar and Ali's caliphate. Changes made, apologies extended with bowed head and a really foolish-feeling heart. What a dodo I am sometimes!

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