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.

  • Do you have any support of your claims?
    – Dynamic
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 0:13
  • @Dynamic Sure I have. WARNING: this video has direct swear at Sahaba: youtube.com/watch?v=Z8ATGygXRaM
    – user37
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 0:18
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    "An interesting fact to mention" is not true. Many Shia may not like Omar but they neither like him being killed.
    – Kaveh
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 0:51
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    @Kaveh I edited the question to include "some shi'a schools" instead of "shi'a schools"
    – user37
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 0:53
  • 3
    @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
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 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.


The reason is that according to Shi'a only God can select the Caliph and after the Prophet God selected Ali as His Caliph, who received divine knowledge of the prophet to guide humans. This was declared by the prophet in front of 120,000 Muslims at Ghadir at the final Hajj of the Prophet. Abubakr, Umar and Uthman gave Bayat (pledge of alliance) to Ali S.A. but when the prophet died and Ali S.A. was at the Prophet's funeral they left the funeral and made a meeting at Saqifah Bani Saedeh and selected Abubakr as Caliph without any permission from God and prophet.

So the Shi'a consider the Caliphate as Ali's S.A. right given by Allah and consider this act of Abubakr as stealing the position of Caliphate; ergo, he and those who acted with him are considered hypocrites and all their past good deeds were canceled because they disobeyed Allah and his messenger.

Also another reason is that the Shi'a believe 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.

(Every single part of this answer can be proved from Qur'an and hadith, but because you asked for short answer I skipped them; 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
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 1:15
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    -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. Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 1:21
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    @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? Commented Jun 29, 2012 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 Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 20:37
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    @MuhammadHaseebKhan, a God-appointed caliph is not necessarily a Prophet!
    – infatuated
    Commented Aug 17, 2014 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 Imam 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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    This is a strange answer, the chapter name is clearly Al-Monafeghun (Hypocrates) and Sunni respects hypocrates??!
    – mosid
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 21:41
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    @mosid, Sunnis do not recognize them as hyprocites but Shia claim to have evidences for proving that they were only pretending to be Muslims. Shia never blames Sunnis "liking those Sahaba" being like "liking hypocrites", we know they believe they are liking just the best Sahaba of the holy prophet peace be upon him and his household, but we believe to know more about those Sahaba. Therefore, Shia and Sunnis are not enemies, they both love the holy prophet peace be upon him and his household and the Sahaba who had devoted themselves to him, but we differ only in recognizing such Sahaba.
    – owari
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 11:05

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