An authentic narration where Imam al-Sadiq (as) discusses the system of al-Shoora (consultation) in particular the wretched system Umar implemented in his election for his successor..


This is a long hadith, and we have only taken an extract from it:

“…He (the Imam) then praised Allah and glorified Him; then asked Him to grant salawat (favors and compensation to Muhammad and his family worthy of their services to His cause). He then said, ‘We become angry when Allah is disobeyed but when He is obeyed we become happy.’ ‘O ‘Amr, tell me if the nation will make you the person in charge of their affairs and give you authority without fighting and expenses and said to you, “Whomever you choose to be their ruler with authority is accepted by the nation.” Whom then would you choose for the nation?’ He replied, ‘I will make it Shura’ (to be decided by the Muslims). He (the Imam) asked, ‘To be decided by all Muslims?’ He replied, ‘Yes, by all Muslims.’ He (the Imam) asked, ‘Will it be decided by their scholars of law and good ones?’ He replied, ‘Yes.’ He (the Imam) asked, ‘Will such people be of Quraysh and others?’ He replied, ‘Yes.’ He (the Imam) asked, ‘Will they be of Arab and non-Arab?’ He replied, ‘Yes.’ He (the Imam) then said, ‘O ‘Amr tell me, do you love abu Bakr and ‘Umar or denounce them?’ He replied, ‘I love them.’ He (the Imam) said, ‘But you just opposed them. What do you all say?’ They replied, ‘We love them.’ He (the Imam) then said, ‘O ‘Amr, were you to be a man who denounced the two of them, then it would have been permissible for him to oppose them. How can you love the two of them when you just opposed them? ‘Umar had made a covenant with abu Bakr on the basis of which he pledged allegiance to him and he did not counsel anyone else on the issue. Thereafter abu Bakr returned it to him (‘Umar) and did not counsel anyone in the issue. ‘Umar then formed a council of six members. He kept all of al-Muhajirun and al-Ansar out of this council except those six people from Quraysh. He made a will about the council to which, I think, neither you nor your friends agree because you make a Shura’ of all Muslims.’ He asked, ‘What did he do?’ He (the Imam) replied, ‘He commanded Suhayb to lead Salat (prayer) for the people for three days and to consult the six people and no one else except the son of ‘Umar who consulted them but would have had have no say in their decision. He made a will and advised those of al-Muhajirun and al-Ansar in his presence to do this: “If three days pass before the council finish the task or pledge allegiance to a man, you must cut off the necks of all the members of the council. If four of them agree on a plan before three days pass but two of them oppose, you must cut off the necks of the two opposing members of the council.” Do you accept such a plan about the council that you like all Muslims to form?’ They replied, ‘No.’…”

Sanad: Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from ibn abu ‘Umayr from ‘Umar ibn ‘Udhaynah from Zurarah from ‘Abd al-Karim ibn ‘Utbah al-Hashimiy who has said the above hadith

Source: Furu’ al-Kafi, Volume 5, Chapter 7, Hadith #1 (See Image 1 below – full hadith)

Grading: Allaamah al-Majlisi (rh) graded the chain as Good/Hasan (حسن) [Mira’at al-Uqool, Volume 18, Page 348 (See Image 2 below); Bahboody graded it Sahih/Authentic (صحيح)

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The Shoora system of Umar is also narrated in the books of the Mukhalafeen. Prominant sunni historian al-Tabari, in his Tareekh says the following:

“Then ‘Umar called Abu Talhah al-Ansari and told him that after his (‘Umar’s) burial, he was to collect fifty people from the ansar, armed with swords, and gather the six above-mentioned candidate-voters in a house to select one from among themselves as the caliph. If five agree and one disagrees, he should be beheaded; if four agree and two disagree, those two should be beheaded; if there is a division of three and three, the choice of the group of ‘Abdu ‘r Rahman ibn ‘Awf should prevail and if the other three do not agree to it they should be beheaded. And if three days pass and they are unable to reach a decision, all of them should be beheaded and the Muslims should be left free to select their caliph.”

Source: Tareekh al-Tabari, Volume 4, Page 229 (See Below)

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