The first reason was that it was Holy Prophet’s Will to be Patient & Imam Ali (a.s) patiently followed the Will. Holy Prophet(p.b.u.h): “O Ali, certainly you will face many difficulties after me. The people will challenge you & oppress you. Should you find helpers, wage battle against them and oppose them. If you don’t find helpers, be patient and restrain yourself and ‘cast not yourselves to perdition with your own hands’. Because surely you are to me as Haroon was to Musa…
“(Surah A’raaf (7): 150) Ref – Ithbat al-Hodat,v1,p293-294.
The reason behind Prophet’s will was the unity of the Muslim Nation. So, Imam Ali (a.s) did not act violently against the oppressors for the sake of the preservation of Islam. At that time Imam Ali (a.s) had only two choices :
1) He could either take out his sword and begin to fight in defense of his and his family’s rights (one of those rights was to be the true successor to the Prophet(p.b.u.h) after him) & rise against the new government with the help of his true friends & companions who were against it.
2) Or to stay silent and begin to strengthen Islam in other fields (even though he had been deprived of being khalifah after the Prophet (p.b.u.h) ) and to solve the problems of the Muslims and carry out his personal responsibilities as much as possible without causing any conflict.
So, Imam Ali (a.s) reached the conclusion that if he were to stand up for his rights regarding the oppression that had been done towards Lady Fatima (s.a), it would end in the loss of the great efforts of the Prophet (s) and the blood of the martyrs that had been shed in his way.
And it would also result in the disunion and division of the Muslim nation. Therefore, Imam Ali (a.s) decided to sacrifice his wife and child’s lives and accept what had taken place, and stay quiet and protect and take care of Islam indirectly.
But if he had chosen to show his bravery and strength, the government surely would have reacted equally, resulting in a civil war among the Muslims and then many bitter incidents that would take place, such as :
1- Imam Ali (a.s) would lose many of his true companions who had chosen to fulfill their pledge to the Prophet (p.b.u.h) and stay with him after his demise who deeply loved Imam Ali (a.s).
2- A great disunion between the Muslims would take place and a great number of sahabis (companions of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) ), who were considered a power in the face of the enemies of Islam, would be lost, or at the least, the Muslim nation would be weakened by such disunion.
3- A great number of those who had converted to Islam during the final years of the Prophet’s (p.b.u.h) life would turn away from Islam and rise against the Muslim government, endangering the Muslim nation.
4- There were chances that those falsely claiming prophethood after Prophet (p.b.u.h), such as Musaylima and others, would try to harm Islam in different ways.
5- The Roman Empire, who was waiting for the right opportunity to attack the Islamic capital, was a great threat at the time…
If Imam Ali (a.s) was to cause any violence, the Muslim army would be weakened, causing the Romans to be able to reach their goals easier than before.
His decision was one that protected Islam itself and helped to maintain the unity of the Muslims and was a fulfillment of his duty Which means that Imam Ali’s (a.s) decision was his duty and that it was what Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) had wanted from him and he wasn’t allowed to make any other decision that would harm Islam and the Muslim nation or put them to danger.
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