It is an admitted fact that Hazrat Ali (AS) was one of the devoted companions of the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). He was greatly shocked at the sad disappearance of the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). No doubt, all other followers, companions and adherents also expressed heart-felt lamentations but it was an intolerable and irreparable loss for Hazrat Syeda Fatima (SA), the daughter of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam). He consoled her despite the fact that his own heart was torn. After the disappearance of his Master, he seldom stirred out of his house and devoted most of his time in arranging the chapters of the Holy Quran in chronological order. It was a colossal service to the cause of Islam.
Although the Holy Prophet (AS) had already appointed Hazrat Ali (AS) as his deputy by declaration at the time of his last pilgrimage but even then the companions established their Caliphate and the first Caliph became Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA). He before his demise transferred the caliphate to Hazrat Umar (RA) and he to Hazrat Usman (RA) before his murder.
After the murder of the third Caliph Hazrat Usman (RA), anarchy prevailed throughout Madina. It was under the sway of the terrorists. The servile population was out of control and authority had vanished. Some of the companions of the Holy Prophet (Suallu Alaihe Wa Aalehi Wasallam) had deserted Madina in the wake of the holocaust. Many citizens adopted an indifferent attitude towards the situation and felt quite helpless under the stress of prevailing circumstances. They preferred to remain indoors. The feelings of sorrow continued to distort every sensible person day and night. The supporters of the third Caliph had fled to Damascus with vows of vengeance. One of them had taken with him the pieces of the third Caliph’s wife Naila’s fingers, the blood stained shirt of the murdered third Caliph and the grey hair of his bear. These things were exhibited in the Mosque to instigate the public to action. The rioters urged Hazrat Ali (AS) to become Caliph but he declined to accept this offer and stated: “Whoever needs the chair of Caliph may occupy again and he has nothing to do with the chair of caliph”. At last Hazrat Ali (AS) yielded under the pressure of the threats of the regicides and entreaties of his friends. He did so to save Islam from ominous danger, utter confusion and disintegration. He shouldered this responsibility in the teeth of opposition. He took an oath to rule in accordance with the Book of Allah. Malik-e-Ashtar, Zubair and Talha were the first to acknowledge him as the Fourth Caliph of Islam. The mass of the insurgents paid homage to him and departed from Madina to go back to their respective provinces. Sa’d bn Abi-Waqqas, Abdullan bin Umar and some leading Ansars did not pledge loyalty to Hazrat Ali (AS) of their own accord. To pledge loyalty to the sitting Fourth Caliph was compulsory upon every person according to the prevalent Shariah. But these people totally denied. No pressure was exerted on the adherents of the murdered Caliph to swear allegiance to Hazrat Ali (AS). Undoubtedly, Hazrat Ali (AS) was the most suitable person for this exalted office. The consensus of opinion was in his favour. No one ever raised an objection against his election on the basis of merit. Even Moavia had no quarrel with this personality. He considered him as the right man for the post of Caliphate, but his basic demand was that those who had assassinated Usman (RA) in cold blood, must be taken to task. Moavia continued to campaign his demand till the last moment.