Posted by: Seeker of the Sacred Knowledge | May 14, 2012

Superiority of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr as-Siddiq Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu‏

The  Ahl-e-Sunnat wa  Jama’at has reached the consensus (Ijma’) that after  Prophets (Alaihim  as-Salam) the best of creation are the four rightly guided Khalifas  (Khulafa-e-Arba’a i.e. Hadrat Abu Bakr, Hadrat Umar, Hadrat Uthman and Hadrat Ali Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhum Ajma’een).
Their sequence of excellence is that Sayyiduna Abu Bakr as-Siddique is  the most  excellent, then Sayyiduna Umar, thereafter followed by the  excellence of  Sayyiduna Uthman and Sayyiduna Ali (Ridwanullahi Ta’ala  Alaihim Ajma’een). Here I present few proclamations of the Classical Scholars and Jurists in this regard.

Proclamations of the Classical Scholars and Jurists :

1. Imam al-Aazam Abu Hanifa gave one of the pithiest definitions of Sunnism in Islam:

“The  doctrine of Ahl  al-Sunna wal-Jama’a consists in preferring the Two  Shaykhs (tafdil  al-shaykhayn) [i.e. Abu Bakr and ‘Umar over the rest],  loving the Two  Sons-in-law (hubb al-khatanayn) [i.e. ‘Ali and ‘Uthman],  and  wiping on leather socks  (al-mas-h  ‘alal-khuffayn) [i.e. all  three contrary to Shi’is].” [Khulasat al-Fatawa, Vol. 2, Page 381]

Narrated by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in al-Intiqa’ bi-Manaqib al-A’immat   al-Thalathati al-Fuqaha’ through several different chains. The same is   also related from Sufyan al-Thawri by al-La’laka’i in his I’tiqad Ahl   al-Sunna, Vol. 1, Page 152.
2. Imam al-Aazam Abu Hanifah in Fiqh Al-Akbar:

“The  most superior and  the best of all men after prophets – blessings and  peace upon them – is  Abu Bakr as-Siddiq. And then, Umar ibn al-Khattab  al-Faruq. And then  Uthman ibn Affan Dhu’n Nurayn. And then ali ibn Abu  talib al-Murtada.  May Allah be well pleased with them all; they were  worshippers and  steadfast on Truth and sided with Truth. We love all of  them.” [Fiqh Al-Akbar]

3. Imam al-Nawawi said in his Fatawa:

“Know  that each of Abu  Bakr and ‘Umar is better than ‘Ali according to the  Consensus (ijma’) of  Ahl al-Sunna. The proofs for this in well-known  sound hadiths are too  famous and countless to be listed.” [Fatawa Imam Nawawi, Page 264]

4. Imam al-Haytami said in his Fatawa Hadithiyya:

“The  preferability of  Abu Bakr over the other three  and that of  ‘Umar  over the  ther two is agreed upon by Consensus (mujma’ ‘alayh) of  Ahl  al-Sunna and there is no disagreement among them concerning this.” [Fatawa Hadithiyya, Page 155]

5. Ali al-Qari in MinaH ar-Rawd al-Az’har, SharH Fiqh al-Akbar:

“The  best of humans  after prophets  is Abu Bakr Radi Allahu  Ta’ala  Anhu”… “The superiority of Abu Bakr and Umar is an unanimous   agreement in the Ahl as-Sunnah.” [Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar]

6. Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari said in Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar:

“It   is patent that to prefer ‘Ali to the Two Shaykhs contravenes the   doctrine of Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama’a according to what the totality of   the Salaf follow.” [Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar, Page 140]

7. Imam al-Daraqutni was once  asked to  arbitrate between two groups in Baghdad who differed whether  ‘Uthman  was preferable to ‘Ali or vice-versa. He relates:

“At   first I withheld from taking any position and considered reserve best.   But then I reached the conclusion that Religion dictated other than   silence. So I said: ‘Uthman is better than ‘Ali with the agreement of   the assembly of the Companions. This is the position of Ahl al-Sunnah,   and it is the first knot of the Rafida one cuts loose.” [Siyar A’lam al-Nubala’, Dar al-Fikr Edition. Vol. 12, Page 483]

8. Al-Dhahabi quotes the above in his chapter on al-Daraqutni in Siyar A’lam al-Nubala’ then comments:

“…Both  ‘Uthman and  ‘Ali possess great merits and precedence and are among the  foremost  shuhada’. However, the vast majority of the Community agree  to give  precedence to ‘Uthman, and this is our position also; and  better than  both of them without doubt are Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. Whoever  differs with  this is a hardened Shi’i.” [Siyar A’lam al-Nubala’, Dar al-Fikr Edition. Vol. 12, Page 483-492]

9. Imam Abu Jaafar Al-taHawi in Al-aqidah at-taHawiyyah:

“We  affirm the  succession  after RasulAllah SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam  first  for Abu Bakr Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu – on account of his  superiority  upon the entire ummah and being paramount among them. Then,  Umar ibn  al-Khattab Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu. Then, Uthman ibn affan  Radi Allahu  Ta’ala Anhu. Then, ali ibn Abu talib Radi Allahu Ta’ala  Anhu. For they  are the Rightly Guided Successors [khulafa ar-rashidun]  and The Guiding  Leaders [ayimmah al-muhtadun – in another version  ayimmah  al-mahdiyyun].” [al-Aqida at-Tahawiyyah]

10. Saad ad-Din Taftazani in his SharH al-MaqaSid, In the Fifth Discussion:

“The  Imam (leader of  Muslims) after RasulAllah SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam  is Abu Bakr Radi  Allahu Ta’ala Anhu. The Shiah say: ali. And we say:  There is a unanimous  agreement (ijmaa) of every person of importance  (the ahl al-Hill wa’l  aqd – from the council, prominent ones, nobles  etc.) on this matter.” [SharH al-MaqaSid]

11. In the Sixth Discussion, Saad ad-Din Taftazani says:

“Superiority, according to us [ahl as-sunnah] is according to the order of succession (of Khalifahs).” [SharH al-MaqaSid]

12. Ali al-ushi in Bad-yi’l Amali and ali al-Qari in its commentary: daw al-Maali

وللصديق رجحان جلي … على الصحاب من غير احتمال And  Siddiq has a prominence and superiority Upon all companions without any doubt
وللفاروق رجحان وفضل … على عثمان ذي النورين عالي And  Faruq has prominence and superiority    Upon Uthman – he of the two lights, the lofty
وذو النورين حقا كان خيرا …. من الكرار في صف القتال And Dhu’n Nurayn  has the right, that he is superior to al-Karrar, the brave and unflinching in the face of battle وللكرار فضل بعد هذا …. على الأغيار طرا لا تبال And superiority is due to ali the brave, after this Upon everybody else without any hesitation

13. Jawharah at-TawHid, Ibrahim al-Laqqani and its commentary TuHfatu’l Murid, Ibrahim al-Bajuri.

وخيرهم من ولي الخلافة …. وأمرهم في الفضلك الخلافة And the best of them  are the successors to khilafah And the order of their superiority is like  the khilafah.

14. Ibn al-Jawzi in Manaqib Ahmad relatedly said:

“Whoever   prefers ‘Ali to Abu Bakr maligns the Prophet; whoever gives ‘Ali   preference over ‘Umar maligns the Prophet and Abu Bakr; and whoever   gives ‘Ali preference over ‘Uthman maligns the Prophet, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar,   and the Emigrants. Nor do I believe that the deeds of such a person  are  accepted.” [Manaqib Ahmad, Page. 162]

15. In the very beginning of his  Kashf  Mushkil Hadith al-Sahihayn in four volumes, in print, Ibn al-Jawzi   mentions the anecdote of a Rafidi asking a Sunni:

“Who  is nobler than  five under a cloak, the sixth of whom is Gibril?” (in  reference to the  established hadith wherein the Prophet, upon him  blessings and peace,  gathered Sayyida Fatima, her two sons and her  husband under his cloak)  whereupon the Sunni replied: “Two in the cave,  the third of whom is  Allah” (in reference to the verse of Qur’an and  hadith of the Prophet  and Abu Bakr in the cave on the way to Madina).

16.   In Nazm al-Mutanathir min al-Hadith al-Mutawatir, al-Alim al-Rabbani,   al-Sayyid Muhammad Jafar al-Idrisi al-Kattani (d. 1927) mentioned:

“The Ahadith on the Afdhaliyya of Abu Bakr over the Sahaba are mutawatir by meaning.” [Nazm al-Mutanathir min al-Hadith al-Mutawatir Page 202]

He quotes Qastallani’s Irshad  al-Saari  Baab Tafadhul Ahl al-Iman fi al-A’man from the Book of Imaan  who quotes  Ijma’ of Ahl al-Sunnah on this. He also quotes Ibn Hajar from   al-Sawa’i al-Muhriqa and Ibn Taymiyya from al-Wassiyyat al-Kubra who   mention that it the reports are mutawatir.
17. al-Sayyid Yusuf al-Nabhani quotes Fatawa Ibn Hajar, in his al-Sharaf al-Mu’abbad, who says in its khatima:

“It  has been soundly  narrated from Ali himself: the best of people after  the Prophet is Abu  Bakr then Umar and then someone else… it is from  this that the Ahl  al-Sunnah from the Sahabah and Tabiun and those after  them agree (ijma)  that Abu Bakr is absolutely excellent among all  Sahabah and then Umar  (may Allah be pleased with them both).” [al-Sharaf al-Mu’abbad, Page 207]

18. Imam Yusuf bin Ismail  an-Nabhani  mentions that Ibn Hajar was questioned on another occasion  whether the  excellence of one over the other among the four was qat’iyya  or  Ijtihadiyya to which he replied that

  “The excellence of Abu Bakr over all is Mujma’ alayh among Ahl  al-Sunnah  and there is no dispute in this, and consensus implies  qata’.” [al-Sharaf al-Mu’abbad, Page 208]

19. Imam Sha’rani quotes Abu Bakr al-Ayyash in his Minan who said:

“If   Abu Bakr, Umar and Ali ever came to me for something, I would attend   Ali first for his close relation with the Messenger of Allah, and I   would prefer falling from the sky to the earth over giving Ali   preference (in fadhila) over the two”. [al-Sharaf al-Mu’abbad, Page 209]

20. Shaykh Nabhani quotes a  hadith  from Musnad al-Bazzar from Usayd bin Safwan in which the demise  of  Sayyiduna Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with him and Ali’s words in  his  manaqib are narrated. Sayyiduna Ali directly speaking to the former  on  his deathbed after his demise calls him

“most excellent of the Sahabah in his Manaqib”, “greatest of them in his rank”, “most noble of them in his station”, and “most honoured among them in the Messenger’s court”!! [al-Sharaf al-Mu’abbad, Page 193]    

21. It is written in renowned Islamic Fiqh books, Fatawa Khulasa and Khazanat al-Musannifin, that:

“Anyone,  who claims  that Hadrat Mawla Ali (Karam Allahu wajh al-Karim) is  superior to all  companions, is a heretic, and a wrongdoer.”

a. Fatawa Khulasa, in ‘Kitab al-Salat’ (chapter of Salah) Section: 15
b.  Khazanat al-Musannifeen, in the  chapter of ‘Kitab al-Salat’ (Book of  Salah) in the section ‘To follow a  Rafidhi in Salat, is it right or  wrong’?
22. It is stated in Fateh al-Qadeer, Sharah “Hidaya” and Hashiyyah on “Tabi’een al-Salamah” that:

“Anyone, who prefers Mawla Ali above the other three rightly guided Caliphs, is a misled.”

a.  Fateh al-Qadeer, Sharah (a  commentary) on the most renowned and  reliable Fiqh book “Hidaya”,  Printed in Egypt, Vol 1, Page 248
b. Hashiyyah (a commentary) on the  Fiqh book “Tabi’een al-Salamah”, by Allama Ahmad as-Salabi, Printed in  Egypt, Vol 1, Page 135
23.  It is also written in the  following Fiqh books “Bada’eh”, “Bazaziyyah”,  “Asabah”, “Fan  al-Sa’ani”, “al-Haf al-Abrar wal-Basair”, “Fatawa  Qurwiyyah” and  “Waqiat al-Muftiyyin”, and all these books have quoted  references from  another most authentic and renowned Fiqh book “Fatawa  Khulasa”, that:

“Anyone, who prefers Hadrat Mawla Ali (Karam Allahu wajh al-Karim) over them (Shaykhain) is a misled and heretic.”

a. Bada’eh, Vol 3, Page 264
b. Bazaziyyah, Vol 3, Page 319
c. Asabah – Printed in Egypt, Page 187
d. Fatawa Qurwiyyah – Printed in Egypt, Vol 1, Page 25
e. Waqiat al-Muftiyyin – Printed in Egypt, Page 13
24.  It is mentioned in another  authentic and most renowned Fiqh book “Majma  al-Anhar”, Sharah (a  commentary) on the book “Multaqi al-Abhar”, that:

“Tafdhili, those who prefer Hadrat Mawla Ali Radi Allahu Anhu above the other three Caliphs are misled. [Majma’ al Anhar – Printed in Istanbul, Vol 1, Page 105]

25. Sayyiduna Meer Abdul Wahid Hussayni Zaidi Wasti Bilgraami has written in his ‘Sabaa Sanabil Sharif’:

After   Hadrat Abu Bakr comes the excellence of Hadrat Umar, then Hadrat  Uthman  and then Hadrat Ali. He who does not accept Hadrat Ali as the  Khalifa  is from the Kharijees and he who regards him (Hadrat Ali) to be  more  excellent than Hadrat Abu Bakr and Umar is from the Raafdhis. [Sab’a Sanabil, Page 10]



There is an Ijma’ of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah on the fact that   Sayyiduna Abu Bak Al-Siddiq is the most superior amongst the companions   of our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon Him and Allah is pleased with  them  all). After him comes the excellence of Hadrat Umar, then Hadrat Uthman and then Hadrat Ali Ridwanullahi Ta’ala Alaihim Ajma’een.They all were pious worshippers and steadfast on Truth and sided with Truth and we love all of them.
He, who believes that Sayyiduna Ali or any other companion is more   superior above Sayyiduna Abu Bakr, is misguided from the Ahl al-Sunnah   wa al-Jama’ah. The true Love for Sayyiduna Ali Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu   will only and only be valid and beneficial when his teachings, Aqida and   Iman is also followed. The Ahl al-Bayt should themselves talk more   often about the tafhdil of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr  as-Siddiq Radi Allahu   Ta’ala Anhu as this is mass-narrated from Sayyiduna Ali Karram Allahu   Wajh al-Kareem himslef, and a sunnah of his.

— And Allah Most high alone gives guidance!!


  1. Allah – beginning with the name of – the Most Gracious Merciful, the Most Merciful.

    Sallallahu alan-Nabiyyil Sallallahu alaihi wasallam Salatan- wasalamanalaika Ya Rasoolallah.

    Assalaamualycum Wa Rehamtullahe Wa Barkathu.

    Excellent information Superiority of Hazrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr as-Siddiq Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu‏.


  2. Jazakallah kher.

  3. […] Source: Seeker Of The Sacred Knowledge […]

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