What did Imam Baqir say about the Khulafa?
This testimony we bring from a work not of the Ahl as-Sunnah, but of the Shi’ah themselves. The author of the book al-Fusul narrates the following:
Imam Baqir (whom they consider to be one of their ‘infalliable’ Imams) said to a group of people who spoke ill of Abu Bakr, `Umar and `Uthman: “Tell me, are you of
the Muhajirin who were driven out of their homes and their possessions, seeking the grace of Allah and His pleasure, and supporting (the cause of) Allah and His Messenger?” (Surah al-Hashr:8)
They replied: “No.”
Next he asked them: “Are you then of
those who, before them, had settled into this abode (Madinah) and into Iman, who love those who migrate to them.?” (Surah al-Hashr:9)
They replied: “No.”
Imaam Baqir then told them: “You yourselves have said that you are not of these two groups. I now bear testimony that you are neither of those about whom Allah says:
And those who come after them, Who .say: Our Lord, forgive us, and forgive our brothers Who believed before us. And Make not in our hearts rancour against those who believe. Our Lord, You are Most Kind, Most Merciful.” (Surah al-Hashr:l0)
O Shias, you call yourself “Imamiyyah”. You regard the words of the Imams as no less in status than the verses of the Qur’an. Why is it then that you do not believe their words when it comes to the excellence and merit of the Sahabah? Why do you not follow your Imams? Why do you reject their words when they speak of the virtue of the Sahabah?
The promise of Paradise which Allah here makes to the Muhajirin and the Ansar applies to the Khulafa as well. It also confirms that the Imam was extremely upset at those who speak ill of the khulafa and regarded them as being outside Islam and Iman. There can thus be no answer from Shias except to say that it was all said in taqiyyah. But for how long can taqiyyah be invoked to explain things away? It is sad indeed that when Allah Himself makes such clear mention of the virtue of the Sahabah, and the Imams too mention it in terms no less lucid, that the Shi’ah are still looking for proof of their merit.