Why Hadrat Ali (r.a.)did not fight the battles
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
5. If Hadhrath Ali (as) had no differences with the first three Khalifa's why did he not participate in any battles that took place during their reigns, particularly when Jihad against the Kuffar is deemed a major duty upon the Muslim? If he did not view it as necessary at that time, then why did he during his own Khilafath whilst in his fifties unsheathe his sword and participate in the battles of Jamal, Sifeen and Naharwan?
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
Why Hadrat Ali (r.a.)did not fight the battles
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
The truth of the matter is the noble companions like Hadrat Ali, Hadrat Saad ibn Abi Waqqas, Hadrat Abdur Rahman bin Auf, Hadrat Talha, Hadrat Zubair, Hadrat Uthman, etc. were part of a consultative assembly to the Khalifa, and thus almost all of these noble sahaabees did not attend many of the battles. They were considered so important to running the huge Islamic empire, that they were not even allowed to leave Medina, unless it was extremely important. All important matters of state were discussed with these noble souls by the Khalifa, and decisions were always made after consultation with these noble companions of the Prophet (saws). One must remember that after the death of the Messenger of Allah (saws), the muslims had acquired a huge empire, and thus the physical participation of Hadrat Ali and other great companions in the battles to expand the Islamic empire were not entirely needed.
If this non-participation of Hadrat Ali is an issue for some people, then they should consider that Hadrat Ali was not allowed to participate by the Messenger of Allah (saws), in the all-important Battle of Tabuk, which was led by the Messenger (saws) himself! The hypocrites of Medina started saying that the Messenger of Allah (saws) was angry and displeased with Hadrat Ali, and that is the reason he took almost all the noble companions for this all important battle against the known super-power of the times (The Romans), but ordered Hadrat Ali to stay behind in Medina. Hadrat Ali came to the Prophet (saws) and pleaded that he be allowed to join the expedition, but only after the Messenger (saws) refused him permission, did he return back to Medina! The truth of the matter was that the Messenger (saws) was neither angry nor displeased with Hadrat Ali, but rather he had left Hadrat Ali behind as a protection for his family.
Also during the at the Khilafat of Hadrat Umar, the muslims were preparing to wage jihad against the Iranians, the other super-power of the times. This battle was known as the Battle of Qadsiyya. Hadrat Umar wanted to lead this jihad himself, but on the advice of Hadrat Ali who urged him not to leave Medina, he did not go. Subsequently, Hadrat Saad ibn Abi Waqqas was made the commander of this expedition.
Thus, to join or not to join the expeditions might have had any number of reasons, political and/or logical. Just because Hadrat Ali did not join any expedition, does not mean that there was animosity between those most noble of companions of the Messenger of Allah (saws). The truth is that all these noble companions were united as brothers in their love for Allah and His Messenger (saws). The love that Hadrat Ali had for these noble companions can be understood by the fact that Hadrat Ali even named his own sons after these noble companions, and among his sons were Abu Bakr ibn Ali, Umar ibn Ali, and Uthman ibn Ali! All this supposed animosity was constructed and conjured many years after the death of these noble souls, by some unscrupulous people who used their noble names to further their own political and monetary gains.
The deen of Islam was completed, the Quran revealed, and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) was established at the time of the death of the Prophet (saws). Whatever happened after the death of the Prophet (saws) is the History of the Muslims, and this is in the knowledge of Allah Alone. Allah will not hold us accountable for the deeds of these people, nor ask us about them on the Day of Judgment. We will be asked about our deeds and what did we do for the cause of Islam.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 134: They were a people who passed away. They shall receive the reward of what they earned, and you shall have the reward of what you will earn. And you will not be questioned as to what they did.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother in Islam,