4. When oomer was wounded by Abu Lu ‘lu ‘ah and he saw that it was difficult for him to survive because of the deep wound, he formed a consultative committee and nominated for it, Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS), oosman ibn affan, abd ar-rehman ibn oaf, az-zuber ibn awwam, sad ibn abi waqqas and talha ibn ubedulla and bound them that after three days of his death, they should select one of themselves as the caliph while for those three days, suheb should act as caliph. On receipt of these instructions, some members of the community requested him to indicate what ideas he had about each of them to enable them to proceed further in their light. Oomer therefore disclosed his own view about each individual. He said that sad was harsh-tempered and hot headed; abd ar-rehman was the pharaoh of the community; as-zuber was, if pleased, a true believer but if displeased, an unbeliever; talha was the embodiment of pride and haughtiness; if he was made caliph, he would put the ring of caliphate on his wife’s finger while oosman did not see beyond his kinsmen. As regards to Ali (AS), he is enamored of the caliphate, although I know that he alone can run it on right lines. Nevertheless, despite this admission, he thought it necessary to constitute the consultative committee and in selecting its members and laying down the working procedure, he made sure that caliphate would take direction in which he wished to turn it. Thus, a man of ordinary prudence can draw the conclusion that the entire factor for oosman’s success was present therein. If we look at its members, we see that one of them, namely, abd ar-rehman ibn oaf was the husband of oosman’s sister, next, sad ibn abi waqqas , besides bearing malice towards Ali(AS) , was a relation and kinsman of abd ar-rehman. Neither of them can be taken to go against oosman. Third, talha ibn ubedulla , about whom Prof. Mohammed ‘Abduh writes in his annotation on Nahjul Balagha :
Talha was inclined towards oosman and the reason for it was no less than that he was against Ali(AS), because, he himself was a at-Taymi and abu baker’s accession to the caliphate had created bad blood between Bani Taym and Banu Hashim.
As regards , as-zuber, even if he had voted for Ali(AS), what could his single vote achieve? According to at-Tabari’s statement , talha was not present in Medina at that time but his absence did not stand in the way of oosman’s success. Rather , even if he was present, as he did actually reached at the meeting (of the committee) and he is taken to be Ali’s(AS) supporter, still there could be no doubt in oosman’s success because oomer’s sagacious mind has set the working procedure that:
If two agree about one and the other two about another then abulla ibn oomer should act as the arbitrator. The group whom he orders should choose the caliph from among themselves. If they do not accept abdulla ibn oomer’s verdict, support should be given to the group which includes abd ar-rehman ibn oaf but if the others do not agree, they should be beheaded for opposing this verdict(at-Tabari: vol:1: pp:2779-2780; ibn al-athir:vol:3:p:67)
Here disagreement with the verdict of abdulla ibn oomer has no meaning since he was directed to support the group which included abd ar-rehman ibn oaf. He had ordered his son abdulla and soheb that:
If the people differ , you should side with the majority but if three of them are on one side and the other three on the other, you should side with the group including abd ar-rehman ibn oaf( at-Tabari : vol:1pp:2775,2780; ibn al-Athir:vol:3:pp:51,67)
In this instruction, the agreement with the majority also means support of abd ar-rehman because the majority could not be on any other side since fifty blood thirsty swords had been on the heads of the opposition group with orders to fall on their heads on abd ar-rehman’s behest. Amir-ul-Momineen’s(AS) eyes had fore-read it at that very moment that the caliphate was going to oosman as appears from his following words which he spoke to al-Abbas ibn Abd-Muttalib:
“The caliphate has been turned away from us.” Al-Abbas asked how he could know it. Then he replied “oosman has also been coupled with me and it has been laid down that the majority should be supported but if two agree on one and two on other, then support should be given to the group which includes abd ar-rehman ibn oaf. Now, sad will support his cousin abd ar-rehman who is of course the husband of oosman’s sister.” (ibid)