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Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib - The Caliphate of Abu Bakr

Offer of allegiance to Ali by 1bn Abbas and Abu Sufyan

After Abu Bakr had been elected as the Caliph, Ibn Abbas and Abu Sufiyan approached Ali and offered him allegiance as the Caliph. Ali did not accept the offer on the ground that this would create dissentions among the Muslims. From a passage in Nahj-ul-Balagha wherein Ali is reported to have expressed his feelings at this stage in the following terms: "If I say something about the caliphate the people would say that I am ambitious for power. If I remain silent there are people who would say that I am afraid of death. I have suffered many wrongs. The people should have known that the son of Abu Talib is as much fond of death as the infant is fond of the milk of its mother. My silence is because of the secret which I alone knew. If I reveal the secret you will tremble and shudder as the strings binding a vessel shake when the vessel is lowered in the well."

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