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Why did Hazrat Ali (peace be upon him) call his three children Umar, Abubakr and Usman?
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Question & Answer » Imam Ali
Why did Hazrat Ali (peace be upon him) call his three children Umar, Abubakr and Usman?

Doubt

 

the Shias claim that the first caliph and the second caliph invaded the house of Hazrat Fateme (may God be well pleased with her) whereas all of us know that Imam Ali (peace be upon him) called the names of several his children with the names of the caliphs, the same persons that are claimed to be the murder of Fateme. This demonstrates that the caliphs are deprived of this insult. Does someone call the names of his or her children the name of the murder of his wife?

 

The criticism and analysis

 

Brief answer

 

Calling with the name ' ' Abubakr ' '

 

First, if Amir Momenan (peace be upon him) had been supposed to call his child, Abubakr, he would have chosen his main name (Abd AlKabe , Atigh, Abdullah and …according to the disagreement that there is) rather than his patronymic.

 

Second, Abubakr was the patronymic of the child of Imam Ali (peace be upon him) and choosing patronymic for persons is not specially related to the father of the child. But a person chose his patronymic according to the events that happened in his or her life.

 

Third, according to a narration, Amir Momenan (peace be upon him) called this child Abdullah that was twenty five years old in Karbala. 

Abu Al-Faraj Esfahani has written 

قتل عبد الله بن علي بن أبي طالب، وهو ابن خمس وعشرين سنة ولا عقب له.     

Abdulah Ben Umar was twenty five years old that was martyred in Karbala.

Al-Esfahani, Abu Al-Faraj Ali Ben Al-Hossein (died in 365 hejira), Maghatel Al-Talebin, v 1 p 22 

 

Hence, the birth year of Abdullah was at the beginning of the caliphate of Hazrat Ali (peace be upon him). He had the most severe criticisms from the last caliphs in that era. 

 

Calling with the name ' ' Umar ' '

 

First, one of habits of Umar was to change the name of people. According to the expression of the historians, Umar called him with this name and he became famous with this name.

 

Balazeri has written in the book ' ' Ansab Al-Ashraf ' ' 

وكان عمر بن الخطاب سمّى عمر بن عليّ بإسمه. 

Umar Ben Khatab called the child of Ali from his name, Umar.

 

Al-Balazari, Ahmad Ben Yahya Ben Jaber (died in 279 hejira), Ansab Al-Ashraf, v 1 p 297

 

Zahabi has written in the book ' ' Seir Alam Al-Nobala ' ' 

ومولده في أيام عمر. فعمر سماه باسمه.

He was born in the time of Umar and he chose his name for him.

 

Al-Zahabi , Shams Al-Din Muhammad Ben Ahmad Ben Osman (died in 748 hejira), Seir Alam Al-Nobala, v 4 p 134, Researched by: Shoaib Al-Arnowt, Muhammad Naem Al-Araghsusi, Published by: Resalat Institute, Beirut, Ninth Edition, 1413 Hejira

 

Umar Ben Al-Khatab changed the name of another person in the history. We will refer three cases.

 

1. Ibrahim Ben Al-Hares Ben Abd Al-Rahman 

عبد الرحمن بن الحارث.... كان أبوه سماه إبراهيم فغيّر عمر اسمه.

His father called his name Ibrahim, but Umar changed it and called it Abd Al-Rahman.

 

Al-Asghalani Al-Shafei, Ahmad Ben Ali Ben Hajar Abu Al-Fazl (died in 852 hejira), Al-Esabat Fi Tamiz Al-Sahabat, v 5 p 29, Researched by: Ali Muhammad Al-Bajavi, Published by: Dar Al-Jeil, Beirut, First Edition, 1412- 1992

2. Al-Ajda Abi Masrugh Ben Abd Al-Rahman 

 الأجدع بن مالك بن أمية الهمداني الوادعي... فسماه عمر عبد الرحمن.

Umar Ben Al-Khatab changed the name of Ajda Ben Malek and called it Abd Al-Rahman.

 

Al-Asghalani Al-Shafei, Ahmad Ben Ali Ben Hajar Abu Al-Fazl (died in 852 hejira), Al-Esabat Fi Tamiz Al-Sahabat, v 1 p 186 no 425, Researched by: Ali Muhammad Al-Bajavi, Published by: Dar Al-Jeil, Beirut, First Edition, 1412- 1992

 

4. Salabe Ben Sad Ben Maala 

وكان إسم المعلى ثعلبة، فسماه عمر بن الخطاب المعلى. 

Umar changed the name of Salabe and called it Mala.

 

 Al-Sahari Al-Aotabi, Abu Al-Monazer Salameh Ben Moslem Ben Ebrahim (died in 511 hejira), Al-Ansab, v 1 p 250

Second, Ibn Hajar has mentioned twenty on persons whose name is Umar in the book ' ' Al-Esabe ' ' in the chapter ' ' Zekr Men Asame Umar ' '.  

1. Umar Ben Al-Hakam Al-Salami; 2. Umar Ben Al-Hakam Al-Behzi; 3. Umar Ben Sad Abu Kabshe  Al-Anmari; 4. Umar Ben Saeid Ben Malek; 5. Umar Ben Sofyan Ben Abd Al-Asad;6. Umar Ben Abu Salame Ben Abd Al-Asad; 7. Umar Ben Akrame Ben Abu Jahl ; 8.Umarv Ben Al-Leisi; 9. Umar Ben Amir Ben Edi; 10. Umar Ben Amir Gheir Mansub; 11. Umar Ben Uf Al-Nakhaei; 12. Umar Ben Hagh; 13. Umar Ben Malek; 14. Uamr Ben Moavie Al-Ghazeri; 15. Umar Ben Vahab Al-Saghafi; 16. Umar Ben Yazid Al-Kaabi ; 17.Umar Al-Aslami; 17. Umar Al-Jamaei; 19. Umar Al-Khasami; 20. Umar Al-Yamani ; 21. Umar Ben Al-Khatab.

 

Al-Asghalani, Ahmad Ben Ali Ben Hajar Abu Al-Fazl Al-Shafei,Al-Esabat Fi Tamiz Al-Sahabat, v 4 p 587-597, Researched by: Ali Muhammad Al-Bajavi, Published by: Dar Al-Jeil, Beirut, First Edition, 1412- 1992 

 

 Was calling names due to interest to the caliph second?

 

Calling with the name ' ' Usman ' '

 

First, calling the name ' ' Usman ' ' was not due to either the same name as the third caliph or his interest toward him, but as Imam Ali ( peace be upon him) bade ' ' chose this name due to his interest to Usman Ben Mazun. 

  إنّما سمّيته بإسم أخي عثمان بن مظعون.

I called my child with the name of my brother, Usman Ben Mazun.

 

Al-Esfahani, Abu Al-Faraj Ali Ben Al-Hossein (died in 365 hejira), Maghatel Al-Talebin, v 1 p 23

 

Second, Ibn Hajar Asghalani mentions twenty six companions whose name was Usman. Can it be said that calling these names was because of him before and after the third caliph.

1. Usman Abu Jaham Al-Aslami; 2.Usman Ben Hakim Ben Abu Al-Ughas; 3. Usman Ben Hamid Ben Zahir Ben Al-Hares; 4. Usman Ben Hanif Ba Lemohmale; Usman Ben Rabie Ben Ahban; Usman Ben Rabie Al-Saghafi; Usman Ben Saeid Ben Ahmar; Usman Ben Shemas Ben Al-Shorid; 9. Usman Ben Talhe Ben Abu Talhe; 1o. Usman Ben Abu Al-As; 11. Usman Ben Amer Ben Umarv; 12. Usman Ben Amer Ben Moatab; 13. Usman Ben Abd Ghanam; 14.Usman Ben Ubeidullah Ben Usman; 15. Usman Ben Usman Ben Al-Shorid; 16.Usman Ben Usman Al-Saghafi; 17. Usman Ben Umarv Ben Refae; 18.Usman Ben Umarv Al-Ansari; 19. Usman Ben Umarv Ben Al-Jamuh; 20. Usman Ben Gheis Ben Abu Al-As; 21. Usman Ben Mazun; 22.Usman Ben Maaz Ben Usman; 23.Usman Ben Noful Zaam; 24. Usman Ben Vahab Al-Makhzum; 25. Usman Al-Jahani; 26. Usman Ben Afan.  

 

Al-Asghalani, Ahmad Ben Ali Ben Hajar Abu Al-Fazl Al-Shafei,Al-Esabat Fi Tamiz Al-Sahabat, v 4 p 447-463, Researched by: Ali Muhammad Al-Bajavi, Published by: Dar Al-Jeil, Beirut, First Edition, 1412- 1992

 

 Detailed answer

 

1. No name is especially for one person (except the names of God). But some

Times, a name was chosen for a lot of persons and they became known with the same name and there was no limitation among nations about this matter. Therefore, some names, such as: Abubakr, Umar and Usman, were so common and a lot of people in the time of the prophet and his companions and the companions and friends of Shiite Imams were known with these names such as: Abubakr Hazrami; Abubakr Ben Abu Sammak; Abubakr Ayash and Abubakr Muhammad ,one of companions of Imam Bagher (peace be upon him) and Imam Sadegh (peace be upon him).

 Umar Ben Abdullah Saghafi; Umar Ben Gheis; Umar Ben Moamar, one of companions of Imam Bagher ( peace be upon him) Umar Ben Aban; Umar Ben Aban Kalabi; Umar Ben Abu Hafas; Umar Ben Abu Shoabe; Umar Ben Azine; Umar Ben Bara; Umar Ben Hafas; Umar Ben Hanzale; Umar Ben Salame and …one of companions of Imam Sadegh ( peace be upon him)  .

Usman Aami Basiri; Usman Jabale and Usman Ben Ziyad, the companions of Imam Bagher (peace be upon him);Usman Asbahani; Usman Ben Yazid; Usman Nava, one of companions of Imam Sadegh ( peace be upon him).   

2. There is no doubt that the Shias hated and have hated Yazid Ben Moavie and his ugly deeds. However, there are persons among the Shias and the companions of the Imams whose name was Yazid such as: Yazid Ben Hatem one of companions of Imam Sajad (peace be upon him); Yazid Ben Abd Al-Molk ; Yazid Saegh; Yazid Kanasi one of companions of Imam Bagher ( peace be upon him); Yazid Al-Shaar ; Yazid Ben Khalife; Yazid Ben Khalil; Yazid Ben Umar Ben Talhe; Yazid Ben Farghad; Yazid Mola Hakam one of companions of Imam Sadegh ( peace be upon him).

 

Even the name of one of companions of Imam Sadegh (peace be upon him) was Shemr Ben Yazid. 

 

Al-Ardebili Al-Ghoravi, Muhammad Ben Ali (died in 1101 hejira), Jamea Al-Ravat va Ezahat Al-Eshtebahat An Al-Torogh Al-Asnad, v 1 p 402, Published by: Maktab Al-Mohammadi. 

 

Can calling this name be the reason of fame of Yazid Ben Moavie among the Imams and the Shias?

 

3. Calling children did happen on the interest of father and mother to persons and personalities; otherwise, all of the Muslims called their children with the name of the messenger of God (peace of Allah be upon him and his descendants).

 

If calling names had not been due to affection to personalities, why wouldn 't the second caliph have ordered all over the Islamic nations not call their children with the name of the messenger of God (peace of Allah be upon him and his descendants)?

 

Ibn Betal and Ibn Hajar have written in the book ' ' their explanation about Sahih Bokhari ' ' 

   كتب عمر إلى أهل الكوفة الا تسموا أحدًا باسم نبى.

 

Ibn Batal Al-Bakeri Al-Ghartabi, Abu Al-Hasan Ali Ben Khalaf Ben Abd Al-Malek (died in 449 hejira), Sharh Sahih Al-Bokhari, v 9 p 344, Researched by: Abu Tamim Yaser Ben Ebrahim, Published by: Maktab Al-Roshd, Saudi Arabia/ Riyadh, Second Edition; 1423 Hejira- 2003

 

Al-Asghalani Al-Shafei, Ahmad Ben Ali Ben Hajar Abu Al-Fazl (died in 852 hejira), Fatah Al-Bari Sharh Sahih Al-Bokhari, v 10 p 572, Researched by: Moheb Al-Din Al-Khatib, Published by: Dar Al-Marefat, Beirut

 

Eini has written in the book ' ' Umde Al-Ghari ' ' 

وكان عمر رضي الله تعالى عنه كتب إلى أهل الكوفة لا تسموا أحدا باسم نبي وأمر جماعة بالمدينة بتغيير أسماء أبنائهم المسمين بمحمد حتى ذكر له جماعة من الصحابة أنه أذن لهم في ذلك فتركهم.

Al-Eini, Badr Al-Din, Mahmud Ben Ahmad (died in 855 hejira), Omdat Al-Ghari Sharh Sahih Al-Bokhari, v 15 p 39, Published by: Dar Ehya Al-Torath Al-Arabi, Beirut

 

The name of one of companions was Umar Ben Abu Salame Gharshi that was the step son of the messenger of God (peace of Allah be upon him and his descendants) from Um Salame. Isn 't it right that calling this name was due to the interest of Imam Ali (peace be upon him) to the step son of the prophet (peace of Allah be upon him and his descendants)?

5. according to the narration of Sheikh Mofid, the name of one of children of Imam Mojtaba (peace be upon him) was Umarv. Is it possible to say that calling this name was due to its similarity with the name of Umarv Ben Abdud or Umarv Ben Hesham (Abu Jahl)?

 

Al-Sheikh Al-Mofid, Muhammad Ben Muhammad Ben Al-Naman Ibn Al-Moalem Abi Abdullah Al-Akbari Al-Baghdadi (died in 413 hejira), Al-Ershad Fi Marefat Hojajollah Ali Al-Ebad, v 2 p 20, chapter Zakara Valad Al-Hasan Ben Ali Alaihoma, Researched by: Ale Al-Beit Alaihem Al-Salam Le Tahghigh Al-Torath, Published by: Dar Al-Mofid Leltabaat Al-Nashr Al-Tozi, Beirut, Lebanon, Second Edition, 1414 Hejira- 1993

 

6. According to whatever has been said from Umar Ben Khatab in the book ' ' Sahih Mosalam ' ', the opinion of Imam Ali (peace be upon him) was about Abubakr and Umar that they were a liar, a sinner, a cheater and a betrayer. He bade to Imam Ali (peace be upon him) and Abbas

 

 فَلَمَّا تُوُفِّىَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- قَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ أَنَا وَلِىُّ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- فَجِئْتُمَا تَطْلُبُ مِيرَاثَكَ مِنَ ابْنِ أَخِيكَ وَيَطْلُبُ هَذَا مِيرَاثَ امْرَأَتِهِ مِنْ أَبِيهَا فَقَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- « مَا نُورَثُ مَا تَرَكْنَا صَدَقَةٌ ». فَرَأَيْتُمَاهُ كَاذِبًا آثِمًا غَادِرًا خَائِنًا وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ إِنَّهُ لَصَادِقٌ بَارٌّ رَاشِدٌ تَابِعٌ لِلْحَقِّ ثُمَّ تُوُفِّىَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ وَأَنَا وَلِىُّ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- وَوَلِىُّ أَبِى بَكْرٍ فَرَأَيْتُمَانِى كَاذِبًا آثِمًا غَادِرًا خَائِنًا

 

After the messenger of God (peace of Allah be upon him and his descendants) passed away, Abubakr said ' ' I am the successor of the messenger of God. You (Abbas and Ali) came and O ' Abbas! Requested the inheritance of your nephew and you, O ' Ali! The inheritance of Fateme (the daughter of the prophet).

 

Abubakr said ' ' the messenger of God has bade ' ' we leave no inheritance and whatever is left is charity ' '. You introduced him a liar, a sinner, a cheater and a betrayer whereas God knows that Abubakr is honest, religious and follower of right path.

 

After the death of Abubakr, I became the successor of the prophet and Abubakr and you consider me a betrayer, a liar, a cheater and a sinner.

 

   Al-Neishaburi, Moslem Ben Al-Hojaj Abu Al-Hossein Al-Ghashiri, (died in 261 hejira),Sahih Moslem, v 3 p 1378, hadith 1757, Ketab Al-Jehad va Al-Seir, chapter Hokm Al-Fai, Researched by: Muhammad Foad Abd Al-Baghi, Published by: Dar Ehya Al-Torath Al-Arabi, Beirut 

 

There is a narration in the book ' ' Sahih Bokhari ' '; Amir Momenan (peace be upon him) considers Abubakr ' ' a tyrant ' '

 

 وَلَكِنَّكَ اسْتَبْدَدْتَ عَلَيْنَا بِالْأَمْرِ وَكُنَّا نَرَى لِقَرَابَتِنَا من رسول اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم نَصِيبًا.

You dominated on us by force. We have considered qualified for caliphate because of our close relationship with the messenger of God (peace of God be upon him and his descendants).

 

Al-Bokhari Al-Jaafi, Muhammad Ben Esmaeel Abu Abdullah (died in 256 hejira), Sahih Al-Bokhari, v 4 p 1549, hadith 3998, Ketab Al-Maghazi, chapter Ghazvat Kheibar, Researched by: D. Mostafa deib Al-Bagha, Published by: Dar Ibn Kathir, Al-Yamame, Beirut, Third Edition, 1407 Hejira- 1987

Sheikhs have narrated that Amir Momenan (peace be upon him) did not like to see the face of Umar 

 فَأَرْسَلَ إلى أبي بَكْرٍ أَنْ ائْتِنَا ولا يَأْتِنَا أَحَدٌ مَعَكَ كَرَاهِيَةً لِمَحْضَرِ عُمَرَ.

                                                 

Al-Bokhari Al-Jaafi, Muhammad Ben Esmaeel Abu Abdullah (died in 256 hejira), Sahih Al-Bokhari, v 4 p 1549, hadith 3998, Ketab Al-Maghazi, chapter Ghazvat Kheibar, Researched by: D. Mostafa deib Al-Bagha, Published by: Dar Ibn Kathir, Al-Yamame, Beirut, Third Edition, 1407 Hejira- 1987

 

According to the harsh reactions of Amir Momenan (peace be upon her) against the caliphs, is it possible to claim that Hazrat Muhammad chose the names of his children the same as the names of the caliphs because he liked the caliphs? 

7. The Sunni scientists claim that this name calling is due to good relationship of Imam Ali (peace be upon him) with the caliphs. If so, why would not the caliphs have chosen the names of Hasan and Hussein that were the children of the messenger of God (peace of Allah be upon him and his descendants) for their children? 

Can be friendship be one way?

 

Conclusion

Calling the children of Amir Momenan (peace be upon him) with names of the caliphs does help good relationship between Amir Momenan and the caliphs and it cannot be used to deny the martyrdom of Hazrat Zahra (peace be upon her)

 

GOOD LUCK

 THE BOARD OF ADDRESSING THE RELIGIOUS DOUBTS

THE RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF HIS HOLINESS IMAM OF THE AGE

              (MAY GOD PRECIPITATES HIS REAPPARENCE)

 



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