Why did Amir al-Mu’mineen name his sons Abu Bakr, Umar & Uthman?

Why did Amir al-Mu’mineen name his sons Abu Bakr, Umar & Uthman?

Why did Amir al-Mu’mineen name his sons Abu Bakr, Umar & Uthman? 1920 1080 The Office Of His Eminence Sheikh al-Habib

QUESTION:

Why did the Commander of the Believers name his children Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman? And what is your view on Khomeini and Khamenei?


ANSWER:

In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful.
May Allah bless Muhammad and his Family and damn their enemies.

The countenance of history has unveiled a clear picture of the nature of the relationship between the pure Household of the Prophet (peace be upon him and hispure family) and the idols of Saqeefa. There was a well-known enmity between the two parties. One would only need to flick through the pages of history to know that the Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him) opposed Abu Bakr for the sake of Allah the Most Exalted, and likewise, Lady Fatima al-Zahra (peace be upon her) opposed Abu Bakr and Umar (may the wrath of Allah be upon them both).

Ironically, the Bakri cult has tried to somehow transfigure this relationship into a harmonious relationship between what they refer to as ‘the Family’ and ‘the Companions’, that is the Family of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family) and his companions, by claiming that the Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him) had named his sons after Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman in reverence for them!.

Concerning your question, one has to firstly know the difference between the terms a cognomen and a name. The pure Household of the Prophet (peace be upon them all) used to name their sons as well as give them a secondary name, a nickname. Leaving their sons unnamed while giving them only nicknames, was not something commonly observed back then by anyone, let alone by Ahlul-Bayt (peace be upon them).

Therefore, for one to claim that Amir al-Mu’mineen (peace be upon him) ‘named’ one of his sons Abu Bakr shows little research has been done since Abu Bakr is not a name, but rather a cognomen. The individual Abu Bakr, son of Ali, has got a name, however, the scholars from both parties have differed on his exact name. Some have reported that his actual name was Muhammad while others said it was either Abdullah or Ubaidullah. Occasionally, due to unintended alteration of words in the books of history (i.e. slip of pen, misspelling and misplacement in manuscripts), such misstatements do occur, such as in the name ‘Abdullah’ that is very similar to ‘Ubaidullah’.

For example, Ibn al-Sabbagh al-Maliki, a ‘Sunni’ scholar, has reported

and Muhammad al-Asghar whose secondary name was Abu Bakr, as well as another son of Ali; Abdullah. They had been martyred with their brother, Hussain, in Karbala. Their mother is Laila, daughter of Masoud
Al-Fusul al-Muhimmah, volume 1, page 644

Similarly, al-Masudi, a well-known historian accredited by both parties, has reported that the

 Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him) had: “…eleven sons, al-Hassan and al-Hussain, whose mother was Fatima, daughter of Allah’s Messenger…” Further on he mentioned: “…and Muhammad al-Asghar, whose secondary name was Abu Bakr
Al-Tanbih wal-Ashraf, page 258

Sheikh al-Mufid from our side has reported

The Commander of the Believers (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had a total of twenty-seven sons and daughters…” Further, he mentioned: “Muhammad al-Asghar, whose secondary name was Abu Bakr, and Ubaidullah, both had been martyred alongside their brother Hussain (peace be upon him) in Taff, and their mother is Laila, daughter of Masoud al-Darimiyyah.
Al-Irshad, volume 1, page 354

From among the ‘Sunni’ scholars who have reported his name to be Ubaidullah is Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi

from Laila, daughter of Masoud, he had Ubaidullah, who is Abu Bakr.
Al-Basa’ir wal-Dhakha’ir, volume 1, page 214

While Ibn A’tham al-Kufi believes his name was Abdullah. He has reported about the Battle of Karbala

Hussain’s brothers thereupon came forward. They were intent on sacrificing their lives for his sake. Abu Bakr, son of Ali, whose name was Abdullah, was the first to come forward. His mother was Laila, daughter of Masoud
Al-Futouh, volume 5, page 112

Also, al-Mujdi has reported

Abu Bakr, whose name was Abdullah, was killed during the in Taff along with Abu Ali, who is Ubaidullah. Their mother is (Laila) al-Nahsha’iya al-Darimiyyah
Ansab al-Talibiyyin, page 198

According to the above narrations, one should commit to the fact that the actual name of Abu Bakr, son of Ali, was either Muhammad, Abdullah or Ubaidullah. Abu Bakr was nothing but his cognomen, which was not necessarily given to him by the Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him). There is not a single narration that suggests that the Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him) did give his son the nickname of Abu Bakr in reverence for such a tyrant or that he named him after Abu Bakr. Had he truly wanted to name his son after Abu Bakr, he would have named him “Ateeq”, which was Abu Bakr’s real name.

It might also be worth mentioning that there were many individuals back then who had the same nickname, Abu Bakr. Amongst them were righteous men such as Abu Bakr, son of Hazim al-Ansari, who had lived during the time of both the Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family) and the Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him). He was an Arab from Yemen. Besides, he was one of the close companions of the Commander of the Believers. If we presuppose that the Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him) gave his son this nickname, then there would be a possibility that it was given to him in reverence for Abu Bakr, son of Hazim al-Ansari.

Moving on to the second son; Umar, son of Ali. Some suggest that the Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him) had a son called Umar commonly known as Umar al-Atraf. The ‘Sunni’ cult claimed that he was named after Umar, son of the adulteress Suhak (may the wrath of Allah be upon him), but we cannot find a single narration that supports their claim we can find several narrations reported in their books that suggest otherwise!

Ibn Shabbah has reported

Narrated of Isa, son of Abdullah, son of Muhammad, son of Umar, son of Ali, son of Abi Talib, on the authority of his father, on the authority of his father, on the authority of Ali, son of Abi Talib: ‘A son was born to me on the day Umar assumed the leadership. I went over to him early in the morning and said: A son was born to me last night. He said: Who bore the child? I said: Al-Taghlibiyyah. He said: I shall name him after my name and give him my slave as a present.
Tareekh al-Madinah, page 755

This narration is false and fabricated. It has no narration reported to back it up in our books of narrations. However, if one was to presuppose that the above narration is true, then it would only suggest that Umar was the one who named the son of the Commander of the Believers after himself! Also, if one were to do a little bit more research, then he would know that scholars from both parties have also differed on the exact name of this son of the Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him). Some have reported his name to be Umar, while others suggested that it was Amr. Amongst those scholars are the following:

  1. Al-Qadhi al-Nu’man al-Maghribi in his book Sharh al-Akhbar. 
  2. Al-Yaqubi in his book Tarikh al-Ya’qubi.
  3. Al-Tirmidhi in his Sunan.

Also, even if one was to presuppose that the Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him) had a son by the name of Umar, then this by no means suggests that he was particularly named after Umar, son of Khattab. A quick look into Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani’s book entitled Al-Isaba fi Tamyiz al-Sahaba can help one find thirty-five different companions of the Prophet by the name of Umar.

The Prophet’s foster son, Umar, son of Abi Salama, is one of them. He was a companion of the Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him) who fought alongside him against Aisha (may the wrath of Allah be upon her) in the Battle of Jamal. He participated in Siffin and was appointed by the Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him) as the governor of the province of Bahrain.

In a letter written to Umar, son of Abi Salama, Imam Ali (peace be upon him) stated the following:

Let it be known to you that I have appointed Nu’man as the governor of the province of Bahrain and have removed you from the post, not because I was dissatisfied with your work or there was any charge against you. Undoubtedly, you have discharged your duties satisfactorily and have done full justice to the trust reposed in you. I am quite satisfied with your work, and I neither doubt your honesty nor do I consider you to be inefficient and blameworthy. Come to me immediately. The fact is that I have resolved to face the Syrian tyrants and oppressors and I want you to be with me because you are one of those men whom I can trust to help me in facing the enemies of Allah and in the establishment of the Islamic state.
Nahj al-Balagha, letter 42

This suggests that there is a likely possibility that the Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him) might have named his son after this noble man.

With regards to Uthman, son of Ali, it has been narrated of him that he named his son Uthman (may peace be upon him) to reminisce his companion, Uthman, son of Madh’oun (may Allah’s satisfaction be upon him), who was one of the greatest companions, and who died during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family). The Commander of the Faithful (may peace be upon him) said

I named him with this name only after my brother, Uthman, son of Madh’oun
Tanqeeh al-Maqal, volume 2, page 247

Abu Faraj al-Esfahani has reported: “It has been narrated that

Ali said: I named him after my brother, Uthman, son of Madh’oun.
Maqatil al-Talibiyeen, page 55

Also, it has been reported in Bihar al-Anwar that

Imam Ali called to his son Uthman. He said: ‘O Uthman’. Then he said, ‘Verily I have not named him after Uthman, the disbelieving old man, but rather after Uthman, son of Madh’oun.
Bihar al-Anwar, volume 31, page 307

It might be worth mentioning that this fact has also been supported by Imam al-Mehdi (peace be upon him and may Allah the Most Exalted hasten his reappearance). In Ziyarat al-Nahiya al-Muqadasa, which was reported by al-Mashhadi one finds:

Peace be upon Uthman, son of the Commander of the Believers, who was named after Uthman, son of Madh’oun.” Uthman, son of Ali, was also martyred during the battle of Karbala.
al-Mazar (page 489)

From the above narrations one would conclude that the Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him) did not name his sons after the first three tyrants Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman (may the wrath of Allah be upon them) as we cannot find a piece of evidence that supports such a claim. These names were commonly used among Arabs back then. Also, Imam Ali’s son, Uthman, was the oldest of the three. This shows that the order of the sons did not chronologically follow the order of the three tyrants.

The Office of Sheikh al-Habib

The Office Of His Eminence Sheikh al-Habib