Saqifa and the Appointment of the First Caliph | CIMS
30th Nov 2019
The Sunni view as outlined by Mufti Abdul Majid considers the process of choosing of the caliph at Saqīfa as being a legitimate one since the Prophet never explicitly left a successor, nor did he leave behind a process in choosing one.
Syed Hadi Rizvi outlined some objections Shia scholars raise regarding this incident and consider Ali’s allegiance to Abu Bakr as disputed, with those who accept he did give allegiance did so only for the greater good of the community.
- The event and process of Saqīfa was not pre-planned and described by the second caliph as a spontaneous, even haphazard, process (falta).
- For the Sunni, the process was a legitimate basis for the appointment of a successor of the Prophet, something the Shia disagree with.
- Key companions and personalities were absent at the meeting, most notably the Banu Hashim.
- Nevertheless, there was a functional agreement around the role of Abu Bakr after this event.
- Giving allegiance does not imply superiority of the individual given allegiance.
 Saqifa refers to an outdoor meeting place with an elongated roof (Saqf) where tribal elders would normally meet to address important issues pertaining to the tribe see al-Saqifa (see Muhammad Reza Muzaffar. Al-Saqifa)
 Ansar – literally ‘helpers’, the residents of Madina when the Prophet migrated. Muhajir (the emigrants) those Muslims that migrated with the Prophet to Madina.
 aṭ-Ṭabarī:at-Tārikh, vol.4, p.l820., Ibn al-Athīr: al-Kāmil, ed. C.J. Tornberg, Leiden, 1897, vol.2, pp. 325ff. Ibn Qutaybah: al-Imāmah wa s-Siyāsah, Cairo, 387/1967, vol. 1, pp. 18ff. Ibn Hisham, IV, pp.306 f.
 المظفر، محمد رضا، السقيفة، ص 61-65.
 Ref Bukhari Volume 5, Book 59, Number 745.
 الفصول المختارة – الشريف المرتضى – الصفحة ٥٦