A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from al-Barqi from Ahmad ibn Zayd al-Naysaburi who has said that narrated to me ‘Umar ibn Ibrahim al-Hashimi from ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Umar from ’Asid ibn Safwan the companion of the Messenger of Allah who has said the following:
“On the day that Amir al-Mu’minin Ali, recipient of divine supreme covenant, passed away the place shook as people wept and cried, and they were frightened as on the day the Holy Prophet, recipient of divine supreme covenant, passed away. A man came weeping. He seemed in a hurry and was saying the words of the Holy Quran, ‘We are the servants of Allah and to Him we shall all return.’ (2:156) He continued, ‘Today the government as succession of that of the Holy Prophet, recipient of divine supreme covenant, is discontinued.’ He stood at the door of the house in which Amir al-Mu’minin Ali, recipient of divine supreme covenant, was and said, ‘May Allah grant you blessing, O abu al-Hassan. ‘You were the first in the nation who accepted Islam and were of the purest faith among them (people of the nation). You were of the most solid certainty and feared Allah the most among them. The degree of your hard work (for the cause of Allah) was the greatest and you were the most cautious in protecting the Messenger of Allah among them. You were the most trusted in the affairs of his companions and of the most distinguished in excellence, of the most honorable past credentials, of the highest degree of virtue and the closest as relatives to the Messenger of Allah among them. You were the most similar among them to him (the Messenger of Allah) in the matters of providing guidance, moral discipline, mannerism and deeds. You were the most valuable person to him (the Messenger of Allah) among them, in importance and the most honorable to him among them. May Allah grant you good rewards on behalf of Islam, His Messenger and the Muslims. You exercised strength when his (the Messenger of Allah’s) companions became weak. You would come out (to face the enemy) when they showed humiliation; you rose up whenever they showed laziness. You maintained steadfastness in adherence to the system of the Messenger of Allah whenever his companions inclined otherwise. You, indeed, were his undisputed successor and you did not cause strife (in the community) despite the mischief of the hypocrites, the anger of the unbelievers, the dislike of the jealous ones and the lowliness of the transgressors.
‘You stood firm for the truth when they failed, spoke clearly when they became speechless, marched forward in the light of Allah when they halted; and if they followed you they found the right guidance.
‘You were the softest in tone and of the highest degree of prayer among them, of the smallest amount of speech and of the most correct and valid statements. You were of the greatest ideas, of the bravest heart, of the most solid certainty, of the best of deeds and the most knowledgeable of the issues among them. You, by Allah, were the lead figure in religion at first and at last. You were the first when people digressed in chaos and the last (to remain steadfast to the end) when they failed. You were as a kind father to the believers as they became dependent upon you and you bore such burdens that others felt much too weak to carry. You protected what they had lost and guarded what they had ignored. You tightened your belt (due to hunger) when they accumulated (wealth with greed); you rose high when they despaired (in humiliation). You exercised patience when they rushed and you achieved what they had never dreamed of achieving and through you they gained what they had never expected to gain.
‘You were an overwhelming calamity and disaster upon the unbelievers and the fortress and support for the believers. You by Allah, were invented for the task of Leadership with Divine Authority with its blessing and you succeeded in achieving its awards, establishing its prerequisite and left with its distinctions. Your evidence in support of your Divine Authority never lost its cutting edge and your heart never wavered, your intelligence never weakened, your soul did not falter or become frightened. You were like a mountain that strong winds could not move. It is just as the Holy Prophet, recipient of divine supreme covenant, has said, “People lived secure in your company and their property well-preserved in your hands.” You were just as the Holy Prophet, recipient of divine supreme covenant, has said, ‘Physically weak but very strong to support the cause of Allah,’ of a very humble soul, but very great in the sight of Allah, the Chief on earth and majestic in the sight of the believers. No one could ever find fault with you or advance criticism against you. No one could ever involve you in corruption. You never showed anyone (corrupt) compliance. The weak and feeble to you were strong and popular until you restored their rights and the powerful and popular were weak and feeble to you until you made them yield to others’ rights.
‘People of close relation or otherwise were equal before you in such cases. Your method was reality, the truth and kindness. Your words were law and final, and your commands were based on forbearance and determination, your view was knowledge and the final decision in what you did. The system is established, the pitfalls are routed, the fires (of mischief) are extinguished, religious issues are balanced and through you Islam has become strong. The guidance of Allah has become manifest even though the unbelievers dislike it. Through you Islam and the believers are strengthened. You have raced (for Divine excellence) a long race and caused a great deal of weariness to those behind you. ‘Losing you can never be compensated for with weeping, and your death is a great issue in heaven and it has threatened the people (with the emergence of chaos). ‘We are the servants of Allah and to Him we shall all return.’ (2:156) We accept the decision of Allah and submit to His commands. By Allah, the Muslims will never find anyone like you. You were a fortress and a stronghold like a heavy mountain and the intense anger against the unbelievers. May Allah join you with His Holy Prophet, recipient of divine supreme covenant. May Allah not deprive us of your rewards, and keep us safe against misguidance after you.’
‘People remained silent until he finished his words. He wept and the companions of the Messenger of Allah wept. Thereafter, they searched for him but he was nowhere to be found.’