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It is well-known that Sunnis treat the closest companions of the Prophet (i.e., Abu Bakr, Omar Ibn Alkhattab and Othman Ibn Affan (Radiya Allahu Anhum رضي الله عنهم اجمعين)) with the greatest of respect. Why then do the Shi'a tend to dislike them and treat them with such contempt?

I know some Shi'a do not (e.g., the Zaidi's in Yemen, the Shi'as in Southern Iraq and the Arab Shi'a in Ahwaz,) but many do dislike them. They won't even name their sons after Omar, Abu Bakr and Othman; it is almost impossible to find Shi'as with one of these names, whereas they are very common names among Sunnis.

I have also heard that Abu Lo'lo'ah (أبو لؤلؤة), the killer of Omar Ibn Alkhattab (RA), is actually venerated as a hero in some Shi'a schools, whereas the Sunni consider him a criminal.

Please note: I am not looking for an in-depth analysis here, just a summary of how this substantial difference in opinion came to be.

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Do you have any support of your claims? –  Dynamic Jun 29 '12 at 0:13
@Dynamic Sure I have. WARNING: this video has direct swear at Sahaba: youtube.com/watch?v=Z8ATGygXRaM –  user37 Jun 29 '12 at 0:18
"An interesting fact to mention" is not true. Many Shia may not like Omar but they neither like him being killed. –  Kaveh Jun 29 '12 at 0:51
@Kaveh I edited the question to include "some shi'a schools" instead of "shi'a schools" –  user37 Jun 29 '12 at 0:53
@HaLaBi, thanks (I personally haven't ever heard anything like that despite the fact that there are some quite hard-line Shias in Iran :) –  Kaveh Jun 29 '12 at 1:14

3 Answers 3

The answer is that Shia believe that the prophet based on God's order choose Ali (PBUH) as his successor and expressed this several times to the Muslims (including in his last hajj). They view the fact that some Sahaba didn't follow his order as a big injustice and diversion from what Muslims should have done and believe that this diversion had a large effect on the Muslim community.

Additional negative feelings comes from (according to Shia narration of the early Islamic history) the way Abu Bakr and Omar treated the prophet's family and decedents (particularly Ali and Fatimah (PBUT)) in various conflicts that arose during their reign. For example, the story according to Shia is that they used force to make Ali (PBUH) accept them as the successor of the prophet (and some Shia believe that Fatimah (PBUH) was killed as a direct result of Omar's actions).

There is also the view that these diversions were the reason for internal conflicts among Muslims and also lead to the Battle of Karbala and the killing of prophet's grandson Hussein (PBUH) (who was clearly one of Ahl ul Bait in both Shia and Sunni views AFAIK).

From Shia perspective, it is inconsistent to believe that all Sahaba can be admired when we know that they had several infightings and even war among them after the prophet's time and it is not possible that all of them were just Muslims in these events.

These are more or less the bases of the negative feelings. If you add to this the time passed since then and some other stories (possibly false/inaccurate) then it is not surprising that some Shia have a heavy negative views of some Sahaba.

ps: I personally have never heard anyone admiring the killer of Omar among Shia, the person was not a Muslim let alone Shia. I don't think he is of much importance from Shia perspective.

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Thanks for this open mind question and this shows you do not have dogma about your sect and are seeking the true sect of 73 sect of Islam prophet predicted.

The reason is that according to shia only God can select the Caliph and God selected his Caliph after prophet and he was Ali S.A. and Ali S.A. received divine knowledge of prophet to guide humans and prophet declared it in front of 120,000 Muslims at Ghadir at final Hajj of prophet and Abubakr and Umar and Uthman given Bayat (pledge of alliance) to Ali S.A. but when prophet died and Ali S.A. was at funeral of prophet they left the funeral and made a meeting at Saqifah Bani Saedeh and selected Abubakr as Caliph without any permission from God and prophet and cause misguide of all humanity.

So shia consider the Caliphate the right of Ali S.A. given by Allah and consider this act of Abubakr stealing the position of Caliphate and so consider them hypocrites and all their past good deeds were canceled because of this great sin of disobeying Allah and messenger.

Also another reason is that shia believes that the daughter of prophet, Fatima Zahra S.A. (and her baby in her womb) was martyred at age 18 because of injury made by attack of Umar to home of Ali S.A. to enforce Ali S.A. give Bayat to Abubakr.

This is all the reason.

Shia Muslims for proving their claim about method of selecting Caliph Caliph use some verses of Quran and Ghadir sermon of prophet:

Quran 6:57 says:

إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ "The command rests with none but Allah:" (the word حکم in this verse (command) has same root and meaning of word حکومت meaning government) [6:57]

So if prophet is really messenger of God so according to above verse did appoint the Caliph or not? or left it for people select it?

Quran 2:30 says:

وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً ۖ قَالُوا أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ الدِّمَاءَ وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, "Indeed, I will make upon the earth a Caliph." They said, "Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?" Allah said, "Indeed, I know that which you do not know." [2:30]

To prove this verse is not generally about placing human in earth this is another verse saying God appointed Ibrahim S.A. as Imam (which is higher rank than Caliph and includes Caliphate position) :

وَإِذِ ابْتَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِمَاتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا ۖ قَالَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي ۖ قَالَ لَا يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ

And [mention, O Muhammad], when Abraham was tried by his Lord with commands and he fulfilled them. [Allah] said, "Indeed, I will make you a leader for the people." [Abraham] said, "And of my descendants?" [Allah] said, "My covenant does not include the wrongdoers." [2:124]

This verse uses exactly the Arabic word for Caliph. If God appoints Caliph so did God appoint the Caliph after prophet? or left it for people select it by voting or shura (meeting) or etc. anyway voting shura,.. are not appointing by God and are appointing by people.

Also this verse:

يَا دَاوُودُ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَاكَ خَلِيفَةً فِي الْأَرْضِ فَاحْكُم بَيْنَ النَّاسِ بِالْحَقِّ وَلَا تَتَّبِعِ الْهَوَىٰ فَيُضِلَّكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَضِلُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ بِمَا نَسُوا يَوْمَ الْحِسَابِ

[We said], "O David, indeed We have made you a successor upon the earth [Caliph], so judge between the people in truth and do not follow [your own] desire, as it will lead you astray from the way of Allah." Indeed, those who go astray from the way of Allah will have a severe punishment for having forgotten the Day of Account. [38:26]

uses exactly the Arabic word for Caliph. and God says: We made you Caliph. so did God do the same for Caliph after prophet? or this time God changed his mind and left it people make Caliph by voting or shura or etc?

If Imams could not be political Caliph it was because Umayyids and Abbasids did not let them and kept them in home arrest or killed them and warned them to not have any political activity. what you think? Imam Husain (sa) go to Yazid and say: please give me the politial power. and Yazid say OK come sit here in my chair and I go home good bye?!! You are so simple thinking. Who Killed Imams of Shia? they all were killed by fake Caliphs because they wanted to be political leaders.

Shura is for when God did no specify some thing or any part of religion? for example can some Muslims make shura and change Zuhr Salat to 2 rakah? or remove fasting from Islam by shura?

(every single part of this answer can be proved from Quran and sunni ahdith books. but because you asked for short answer I skipped them,. but you can ask each part in separate question)

more info:

Hadith of the pond of Khumm

Fatima ['a] The Gracious


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Allah Said I am appointing Caliph on earth إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً.... But Allah did not mention it is Ali (كرم الله وجهه)... so what made you think it is Ali?not Abu bakr or Omar? –  user37 Jun 29 '12 at 1:15
-1 No co relation of quoted verses with the stated interpretation and claim of true sect out of 73 with nothing to back it up. –  Hasan Khan Jun 29 '12 at 1:21
@HasanKhan the verses clearly mean God selects Caliph and not people. this is exactly the conflict of shia and sunni. who selected Abubakr? Allah or people? –  Battle of Karbala Jun 29 '12 at 1:45
so according to your logic Ali(كرم الله وجهه) would going to be the messenger/prophet if he would have appointed as caliph, as all above verses are about prophets/messenger? and keeping in view the same logic is there anyother caliph other than Ali S.A after Prophet PBUH –  Muhammad Haseeb Khan Apr 7 at 20:37
@MuhammadHaseebKhan, a God-appointed caliph is not necessarily a Prophet! –  infatuated Aug 17 at 5:20

بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ إِذَا جَآءَكَ ٱلْمُنَـٰفِقُونَ قَالُوا۟ نَشْهَدُ إِنَّكَ لَرَسُولُ ٱللَّهِ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ إِنَّكَ لَرَسُولُهُۥ وَٱللَّهُ يَشْهَدُ إِنَّ ٱلْمُنَـٰفِقِينَ لَكَـٰذِبُونَ ٱتَّخَذُوٓا۟ أَيْمَـٰنَهُمْ جُنَّةًۭ فَصَدُّوا۟ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّهُمْ سَآءَ مَا كَانُوا۟ يَعْمَلُونَ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ ءَامَنُوا۟ ثُمَّ كَفَرُوا۟ فَطُبِعَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ فَهُمْ لَا يَفْقَهُونَ

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. When the Hypocrites come to thee, they say, "We bear witness that thou art indeed the Messenger of Allah." Yea, Allah knoweth that thou art indeed His Messenger, and Allah beareth witness that the Hypocrites are indeed liars. They have made their oaths a screen (for their misdeeds): thus they obstruct (men) from the Path of Allah: truly evil are their deeds. That is because they believed, then they rejected Faith: So a seal was set on their hearts: therefore they understand not. (Al-Monafeghun:1,2,3)

Shia Muslims believe in that these verses are about the Sahabah to whom Sunni Muslims respect and Shia Muslims don't. That is stated about them first being Mu'men to the holy prophet but then denying his succeeder Imaam Ali A.S. after his Vilayah was clarified for them for many times the last of which being at Ghadeer-e-Khum. (Tafseer Al-Borhan)

Certainly they were hypocrites in the history of Islam which were not known by all, Shia Islam asserts every one that do not go by every order of the prophet is either a wrongdoer Mu'men or a hypocrites not believing to Allah A.J. and his prophet PBUH. But denying the explicit command of the holy prophet PBUH, which can turn the whole trend of Islam at the beginning curve of its life would be an unforgivable sin, and its doer is more than a simple wrongdoer mu'men!

The rest of answer is as Kaveh and Ahmadi gave in their answers.

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