Ali (رضّى الله عنه) Gave His Daughter to Umar (رضّى الله عنه)



Ali (رضّى الله عنه) gave his daughter, Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها), in marriage to Umar (رضّى الله عنه). This is a fact which most Shia lay persons have no idea about. It is also a fact that topples the entire paradigm of Shi’ism. Because of this, many Shia nowadays will say that this marriage between Umar (رضّى الله عنه) and Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها) is a fairy-tale.

However, the record of this marriage is in the Shia’s most reliable book of Hadith, Al-Kafi. There are at at least four separate Hadiths attributed to the Imams which affirm the marriage of Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها) to Umar (رضّى الله عنه). In fact, the 23rd chapter in the Book of Marriage (Kitab an-Nikah) in Furoo Al-Kafi is dedicated to the marriage of Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها) and it is called “Bab Tazwig Umm Kulthoom.” Two of the four Hadith are in this chapter, while the other two are found in a related chapter on ’iddah after marriage.

It should be noted that in the first narration the word “furuj” is used which translates to “vagina”. The Shia narrator of the Hadith employed a derrogatory term to refer to Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها). The truth is that the Shia abandoned Ali’s daughter, Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها), for they believe she has brought shame to the Ahlel Bayt by having married into the family of Umar (رضّى الله عنه); they thus refer to her in a very insulting manner. It should also be noted that the Shia narrations refer to Umar (رضّى الله عنه) in an equally insulting manner, claiming that he forced the marriage. We shall address this point later on, but for now, the point is that the Shia propagandist has absolutely no grounds to claim that the marriage did not happen since it is recorded in their own books.

The first two Hadith appear under the heading “Chapter of Umm Kulthoom’s Marriage.” says

باب تزويج ام كلثوم
Translation: Chapter of Umm Kulthoom’s Marriage


9536 - 1 - علي بن إبراهيم، عن أبيه، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن هشام بن سالم، وحماد، عن زرارة، عن أبي عبدالله (ع) في تزويج أم كلثوم فقال: إن ذلك فرج غصبناه

Translation: Ali ibn Ibrahim—from his father—from Ibn Abi ‘Umayr—from Hisham ibn Salim and Hammad—from Zurarah, who narrates that:

“Abu Abdullah (a.s) said about the marriage of Umm Kulthoom: “That was the vagina that we were forced to give.”

(narrated in Furoo al-Kafi, vol.5, p.347)

محمد بن أبي عمير، عن هشام بن سالم، عن أبي عبدالله (ع) قال: لما خطب إليه قال له أمير المؤمنين: إنها صبية قال: فلقى العباس فقال له: مالي أبي بأس؟ قال: وماذاك؟ قال: خطبت إلى ابن اخيك فردني أما والله لاعورن زمزم(4) ولا أدع لكم مكرمة إلا هدمتهاو لاقيمن عليه شاهدين بأنه سرق ولاقطعن يمينه فأتاه العباس فأخبره وسأله أن يجعل الامر إليه فجعله إليه

Translation: Muhammad ibn Abi Umayr—Hisham ibn Salim, who narrates that—Imam Jafar as-Sadiq said:

“When [Umar] proposed to Amir al-Mu’minin, he said, ‘She is a child.’ Then he [Umar] met Abbas and asked him, ‘What is wrong with me? Is there a problem with me?’ Abbas asked, ‘Why?’ Umar replied, ‘I asked your nephew for his daughter’s hand in marriage, and he rejected me. Oh, I swear by Allah, I will fill the well of Zamzam with earth, I will destroy every honor that you have, and I will set up two witnesses to testify that he stole, that I may cut off his right hand.’ Abbas thereupon came to Ali and informed him of what had transpired. He asked Ali to put the matter in his hands, and Ali complied.”

(narrated in Furoo al-Kafi, vol.6, p.117)

1) (10902 1) حميد بن زياد، عن ابن سماعة، عن محمد بن زياد، عن عبدالله بن سنان، ومعاوية ابن عمار، عن أبي عبدالله عليه السلام قال: سألته عن المرأة المتوفى عنها زوجها أتعتد في بيتها أو حيث شاءت؟ قال: بل حيث شاءت، إن عليا عليه السلام لما توفي عمر أتى أم كلثوم فانطلق بها إلى بيته

Translation: Humayd ibn Ziyad—Ibn Sama‘ah—Muhammad ibn Ziyad—Abdullah ibn Sinan—Muawiyyah ibn ‘Ammar—Imam Jafar as-Sadiq:

“I asked him about a woman whose husband died: ‘Should she spend her ‘iddah in her house, or where she wants to?’ He [the Imam] replied, ‘Where she wants to. When Umar died, Ali came and took Umm Kulthoom to his house.’”

(narrated in Furoo al-Kafi, vol.6, p.117)

1) (10902 1) حميد بن زياد، عن ابن سماعة، عن محمد بن زياد، عن عبدالله بن سنان، ومعاوية ابن عمار، عن أبي عبدالله عليه السلام قال: سألته عن المرأة المتوفى عنها زوجها أتعتد في بيتها أو حيث شاءت؟ قال: بل حيث شاءت، إن عليا عليه السلام لما توفي عمر أتى أم كلثوم فانطلق بها إلى بيته

Translation: Humayd ibn Ziyad—Ibn Sama‘ah—Muhammad ibn Ziyad—Abdullah ibn Sinan—Muawiyyah ibn ‘Ammar—Imam Jafar as-Sadiq:

“I asked him about a woman whose husband died: ‘Should she spend her ‘iddah in her house, or where she wants to?’ He [the Imam] replied, ‘Where she wants to. When Umar died, Ali came and took Umm Kulthoom to his house.’”

(narrated in Furoo al-Kafi, vol.6, p.117)


We have here four chains of narration up to Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (رضّى الله عنه). An investigation into the authenticity of these chains of narration by Shia—and not Sunni—standards reveals that each and every one of them is a highly reliable and accurate chain.


Al-Kulayni received the reports from Ibn Abi Umayr through his teacher Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashim al-Qummi, who is so reliable that he [Ali ibn Ibrahim] is his source for about one third of the material in Al-Kafi. Ali ibn Ibrahim is the author of a classical Tafseer of the Shia, and is highly regarded by Shia rijal critics such as an-Najashi and Ibn Mutahhar, who declare him to be “thiqatun fil hadith, thabt, mu’tamad, sahih al-madhhab” (reliable in Hadith transmission, reliable, dependable, correct in belief). (Jami’ ar-Ruwat, vol.1, p.545)

Ali ibn Ibrahim al-Qummi reports from his father Ibrahim ibn Hashim al-Qummi. He is reputed to have been the first to spread the Hadith of the Shia from Kufa to Qum. Reports via him abound in Al-Kafi, through his son. He has been generally accepted by the Shia as a reliable narrator. He is even mentioned by Abu Jafar at-Tusi as having met the 9th Infallible Imam. (Jami’ ar-Ruwat, vol.1, p.38) His reliability as a narrator is attested to in a contemporary work on the authority of his son, Ali ibn Ibrahim, Ibn Tawus and al-Allamah al-Hilli. (Abu Talib at-Tajlil at-Tabrizi, Mu’jam ath-Thiqat, p.5)

Ibrahim ibn Hashim al-Qummi reports on the authority of Muhammad ibn Abi Umayr. This Ibn Abi Umayr is one of the most reliable Shia narrators ever. Abu Jafar at-Tusi says of him: “kana min awthaq an-nas” (he was of the most reliable of people). (Al-Fihrist, p.169) More importantly, he was of the elect group of Shia narrators called the Ashab al-Ijma’ (Men of the Consensus). What this means is that when the chain of narration is proven authentic up to one of these men, the rest of the chain up to the Imam may automatically be assumed to be authentic too. (See the details of this consensus in al-Mamaqani, Miqbas al-Hidayah fi ‘Ilm ad-Dirayah, vol.2, pp.171-208) The authenticity of this narration is therefore proven on grounds of this consensus.


This report also came down to al-Kulayni through Ali ibn Ibrahim, from his father, from Ibn Abi Umayr. The discussion on the first chain of narration is therefore fully applicable to this chain too.


Al-Kulayni reports this narration from his teacher Humayd ibn Ziyad. This Humayd is graded by the Shia rijal critics as “alim jalil al-qadr, wasi’ al-’ilm, kathir at-tasnif, thiqah” (a learned scholar of great status, wide knowledge, a prolific author, reliable). (Jami’ ar-Ruwat, vol.1, p.284)

Ibn Sama’ah is properly known as al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn Sama’ah. He was one of the foremost Shia fuqaha of Kufa, and is described as “kathir al-hadith, faqihun thiqah” (a prolific narrator of Hadith, a jurist, reliable). (Jami’ ar-Ruwat, vol.1, p.225)

Muhammad ibn Ziyad is properly known as Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ibn Ziyad al-Attar. He is described as “thiqah” (reliable). (Jami’ ar-Ruwat, vol.2, p.91)

Abdullah ibn Sinan was an eminent Imami Shia of Kufa about whom it is stated: “thiqatun min ashabina, la yut’anu ‘alayhi fi shay” (one of our reliable associates against whom no criticism whatsoever can be levelled). (Jami’ ar-Ruwat, vol.1, p.487)

Muawiyyah ibn Ammar was an eminent and leading Shia narrator of Kufa who narrates from Imam Jafar as-Sadiq. His Shia biographers have documented about him that he was “wajhan min ashabina muqaddaman, kabir ash-shan, azim al-mahall, thiqah” (a leading figure amongst our associates, pre-eminent, great in status, exalted in position, reliable). (Jami’ ar-Ruwat, vol.2, p.239)

The opinions of the Shia critics of Hadith regarding the narrators of this report as reproduced here unequivocally indicate that what we have here in an authentic report.


Al-Kulayni recorded this report on the authority of several of his teachers, one of whom is Muhammad ibn Yahya al-Attar al-Qummi. He was regarded as “shaykhu ashabina fi zamanihi, thiqah, ‘ayn, kathir al-hadith” (the shaykh of our associates in his time, reliable, an outsanding personality, a prolific narrator of hadith). (Jami’ ar-Ruwat, vol.2, p.213)

Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Isa al-Qummi was “shaykh al-Qummiyyin, wa-wajhuhum, wa-faqihuhum, ghayra mudafa” (the shaykh of the people of Qom, and their undisputed leader and jurist). (Jami’ ar-Ruwat, vol.1, p.69) Abu Jafar at-Tusi and al-Allamah al-Hilli have unequivocally declared him “thiqah” (reliable). (ar-Rijal, p.366; al-Khulasah, p.13)

Al-Husayn ibn Sa’id is described as “‘ayn, jalil al-qadr” (an outstanding personality of great stature) and “thiqah” (reliable). (Jami’ ar-Ruwat, vol.1, p.241)

An-Nadr ibn Suwayd is rated as “Kufi, thiqah, sahih al-hadith” (a reliable Kufan who transmits authentic Hadith). (Jami’ ar-Ruwat, vol.2,p.292)

Hisham ibn Salim is credited with having been a student of Imam Jafar as-Sadiq. His reliability as a transmitter of Hadith is attested to by the emphatic statement of al-Allamah and an-Najashi: “thiqatun thiqah” (reliable, and once again reliable). (Jami’ ar-Ruwat, vol.2, p.315)

Sulayman ibn Khalid is mentioned as having been a student of Imam al-Baqir. His death is recorded to have caused Imam Jafar extreme grief. He is universally acclaimed as “thiqah” (reliable). (Jami’ ar-Ruwat, vol.1, p.378)

As we have seen, all four narrations are authentic according to Shia standards, and they affirm the marriage of Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها) to Umar (رضّى الله عنه). Each one was transmitted by reliable Imami Shia transmitters whose abilities and trustworthiness in Hadith transmission has been deemed acceptable by the Shia authorities.

More Shia Narrations

Not only did Umar (رضّى الله عنه) and Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها) get married, but they also had two children together, namely Zayd (رضّى الله عنه) and Ruqayyah (رضّى الله عنها). Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها) and Zayd (رضّى الله عنه) died on the same day and their funeral was held together. Evidence of this comes from a fifth Shia Hadith, narrated in the esteemed Shia work, “Tadheeb al-Ahkam” (Vol.2, p.380) in Chapter “Meeras”:

“Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (as) said: ‘Umm Kulthoom bint Ali and her son Zayd bin Umar both died at the same time. It was not possible to ascertain who had died first. They did not inherit from one another and their funeral prayers were read at the same time.”

Among the Shia sources that narrate the fact of this marriage from Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (رضّى الله عنه) with the statement “Umm Kulthum bint Ali ibn Abi Talib died at the same time as her son Zayd ibn Umar ibn al-Khattab” and the narration from Muhammad ibn al-Hasan that “Umar ibn al-Khattab married Umm Kulthum bint Ali with a dowry of 40,000 dirhams” are the following:

1- Agha Burzug al-Tahrani’s al-Dhari`a (5:184).
2- Ali ibn Muhammad al-`Alawi’s al-Mujdi fi Ansab al-Talibiyyin (p. 17).
3- Al-Fadil al-Hindi’s Kashf al-Litham (2:312).
4- Al-Hurr al-`Amili’s Wasa’il al-Shi`a Al al-Bayt (15:19, 17:594, 21:263, 26:314).
5- Muhammad ibn Habib al-Baghdadi’s al-Munammaq fi Akhbar Quraysh (p. 301).
6- Al-Muhaqqiq al-Ardabili’s Majma` al-Fa’ida (11:530).
7- Al-Muhaqqiq al-Naraqi’s Mustanad al-Shi`a (19:452).
8- Al-Muhaqqiq al-Sabzawari’s Kifayat al-Ahkam (p. 307).
9- Al-Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq al-Rawhani’s Fiqh al-Sadiq (24:496).
10- Al-Shahid al-Thani’s Masalik al-Afham (13:270).
11- Al-Shaykh al-Amini’s al-Ghadir (6:136-137).
12- Al-Shaykh al-Tusi’s al-Mabsut (4:272).
13- Tahdhib al-Ahkam (9:362-363).
14- Al-Shaykh al-Jawahiri’s Jawahir al-Kalam (39:308).

Did Umar (رضّى الله عنه) Force Ali (رضّى الله عنه) to Give His Daughter?

The classical position of the Shia has been that the marriage between Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها) and Umar (رضّى الله عنه) did in fact take place, although they say that it was done by force. As the story goes, Umar (رضّى الله عنه) threatened Ali (رضّى الله عنه) with physical harm to him and his followers, and this is why Ali (رضّى الله عنه) succumbed and gave Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها) to him.

Thus, what we have established is that the classical Shia position is 100% at variance with the modern day Shia propagandists (such as the Answering-Ansar Team) who claim that the marriage simply did not take place. How could the marriage be forced if it never happened at all!? Truly this is a contradiction.

For so long, the classical Shia stuck to the opinion that they could justify the marriage by saying that Ali (رضّى الله عنه) was forced into giving his daughter away. But then the Shia propagandists realized that this was easily refuted by the Ahlus Sunnah. How could it be that the great Ali (رضّى الله عنه), with all his courage and bravery on the battlefield, would give his daughter in marriage to Umar (رضّى الله عنه), the man who supposedly killed Ali’s wife (the Prophet’s daughter) and unborn child?

Why didn’t Ali (رضّى الله عنه) fight Umar (رضّى الله عنه) and defend Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها), who was the Prophet’s grand-daughter? For that matter, why didn’t Ali (رضّى الله عنه) raise his sword to defend Fatima (رضّى الله عنها) and his unborn child? The Shia version of history portrays Ali (رضّى الله عنه) as a coward; even a man of low status would have enough courage not to give his daughter in marriage to a murderer and a pervert. Would any of the Shia propagandists (the same ones who argue with us) give their daughters in marriage to the man who killed their wives and children? Would any man give his daughter to a man who is a child molestor and pervert, as the Shia claim that Umar (رضّى الله عنه) is?

The truth is that the Shia version of history is false. Umar (رضّى الله عنه) was not a murderer nor was he a pervert or any of the other horrendous things they accuse him of. Umar bin Khattab (رضّى الله عنه) was a man of excellent character, and the evidence is that Ali (رضّى الله عنه) would never give his daughter to anyone who did not possess an excellent character. To think otherwise would demean the status of Ali (رضّى الله عنه) to a position lower than most of us today, as none of us would give our daughters in marriage to evil and sinful men. It is upto the reader to accept the Ahlus Sunnah version of history (which maintains Ali’s courage and bravery [ضّى الله عنه]), or the Shia version (which makes Ali [ضّى الله عنه] appear cowardly and refers to his daughter as a “furuj” or vagina).

The Misrepresentation of History

A major part of the edifice upon which Shi‘ism has constructed itself is its idiosyncratic portrayal of the early history of Islam. It is especially in its representation of the relationships that existed between Ali ibn Abi Talib (رضّى الله عنه) and the eminent Sahabah like Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) and Umar bin Khattab (رضّى الله عنه) that Shi‘ism has acquired a character of its own.

Shia historians seemed little troubled by the fact that their own reconstruction of history would inevitably involve the invention of events, or versions of actual events that would be at variance with standard sources. They seem to have been considerably confident that the emotional appeal of their version of history would override, and indeed obviate the need for a critical comparison of their narratives with those of other historians of repute.

Their confidence appears to have been well founded, for a milennium has passed and still there is evidence in abundance of an emphatically emotional and sentimental approach to issues whose historicity needed to have been critically scrutinised in a spirit of emotional detachment. In this belated century that prides itself on the advancement of research methodology and techniques, the anomaly of a methodology that has emotive appeal as its central component stands out like a very sore thumb.

It is this spirit—of emotional prejudice overriding objective scholarship—that Shia propagandists up to this very day insist on “revealing” to their Sunni audiences the “truth” about the “persecution” suffered by the Ahlel Bayt at the hands of the Sahabah. They can often be found launching into their particular misrepresentations of history, with no respect for standards of historic authenticity, and even less in awe of the way in which they are in actual fact bringing disgrace upon the Prophetic Household.

By constructing a fanciful tale of persecution of the Ahlel Bayt, the Shia propagandists unknowingly end up portraying Ali (رضّى الله عنه) as a coward, his daughter as a “vagina”, and they even disgrace other members of the same Ahlel Bayt they claim to follow, including the Prophet’s wives. Whilst claiming to love the Ahlel Bayt, they deny the existence of three of the Prophet’s daughters, thereby disregarding historical fact.

The Shia audiences are captivated by the emotional rhetoric; facts that differ from their simplistic paradigm of “good vs evil” are simply disregarded. In fact, the last thing on the mind of both propagandist and audience is the grievous contradictions the writer or speaker makes himself guilty of in his emotionally laden corruption of history.

Persecution of Ahlel Bayt

One such case of the “invention of history” is the “persecution” of Ali (رضّى الله عنه) and Fatima (رضّى الله عنها) immediately after the demise of the Prophet. The Shia propagandists have invented the story that Umar bin Khattab (رضّى الله عنه) hit Fatima (رضّى الله عنها) so hard that her unborn child was killed, and that Fatima (رضّى الله عنها) died subsequently six months later from the injuries. The Shia tales talk about Ali (رضّى الله عنه) being dragged through the streets by Umar (رضّى الله عنه) and made to give Bayah to Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه).

All of these stories have to the Shia mind become undisputable and incontestible facts of history, no matter how spurious their origin, or how blatantly they clash with authentic historical facts. Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) and Umar (رضّى الله عنه) will forever be thought of by the Shia in terms of the “deeds” of that day, and no true Shia who believes in these stories as factual truth could ever be expected to harbor the merest ounce of goodwill towards Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) and Umar (رضّى الله عنه)—let alone the rest of the Sahabah who stood with them and paid allegiance to them.

And yet, a less myopic approach to history shows that certain historical facts clash with this Shia paradigm. If Ali’s wife was killed by Umar (رضّى الله عنه), and if he himself was persecuted by Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) and Uthman (رضّى الله عنه), then why on earth did Ali (رضّى الله عنه) name three of his sons after the Three Caliphs? It is a historical fact that Ali (رضّى الله عنه) named three of his own children as Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman. (See al-Shaykh al-Mufid, “Kitab al-Irshad”, pp. 268-269, where these three sons of Ali [ضّى الله عنه] are listed as numbers 12, 6 and 10 respectively. excerpts this book and it is viewable here: No one, not even the most magnanimous of people, names his son after his enemies who were responsible for the death of his wife and unborn child. That is why one simply cannot find a Shia today named Abu Bakr, Umar or Uthman.

Another fact of history which clashes with the alleged persecution of Ali (رضّى الله عنه) and Fatima (رضّى الله عنها) by the Sahabah is the marriage of Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها), the daughter of Ali (رضّى الله عنه) and Fatima (رضّى الله عنها), to Umar bin Khattab (رضّى الله عنه). This marriage, in which Ali ibn Abi Talib (رضّى الله عنه) gave this daughter borne to him by Fatima (رضّى الله عنها), in marriage to Umar bin Khattab (رضّى الله عنه)—the very same man whom the Shia allege caused the death of Fatima (رضّى الله عنها)—assails the foundations of Shi‘ism in a way that few issues can. This historical fact threw the house of Shi‘ism into violent disorder, and the Ulema of the Shia, reeling under its impact, found themselves lunging at just about any twig in sight. This paper looks at the various Shia responses to the marriage of Umm Kulthoom to Umar (رضّى الله عنه), and demonstrates the embarrasment in the Shia camp to which this contradictory cacophony of responses eloquently testifies.

The Marriage of Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها)

Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها) was the second daughter of Ali (رضّى الله عنه) and Fatima (رضّى الله عنها), and the youngest of their four children. She was born in about the year 6 AH. Umar bin Khattab (رضّى الله عنه) asked for her hand in marriage during his Caliphate. This is recorded by Ibn Sa‘d in his work “at-Tabaqat al-Kubra” (vol.8, p.338, ed. Muhammad ‘Ab al-Qadir ‘Ata, “Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah”, Beirut 1990) as follows:

I was informed by Anas ibn ‘Iyad al-Laythi, who reports on the authority of Jafar ibn Muhammad [as-Sadiq], and he from his father [Muhammad al-Baqir] that—

Umar ibn al-Khattab asked Ali ibn Abi Talib for the hand of Umm Kulthoom in marriage. Ali said, “I had kept my daughters for the sons of Jafar.” Umar said, “Marry her to me, O Abul Hasan, for by Allah,there is no man on the face of the earth who seeks to achieve through her good companionship that which I seek to achieve.” Ali said, “I have done so.”

Then Umar came to the Muhajirun between the grave [of Rasool-Allah] and the pulpit. They—Ali, Uthman, Zubayr, Talhah and Abd ar-Rahman—used to sit there, and whenever a matter used to arrive from the frontiers, Umar used to come to them there and consult with them. He came to them and said, “Congratulate me.” They congratulated him, and asked, “With whom are we congratulating you, O Amir al-Mu’minin?” He replied, “With the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib.”

(source: Ibn Sa‘d in his work “at-Tabaqat al-Kubra”, vol.8, p.338, ed. Muhammad ‘Ab al-Qadir ‘Ata, “Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah”, Beirut 1990)

The author above narrated one of the many Shia narrations on the authority of the Infallible Imams of the Shia, including Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (رضّى الله عنه) and the esteemed Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (رضّى الله عنه). It is extremely odd that the Shia of today will abandon the authority of these Infallible Imams who accepted that the marriage took place, and instead they will take Answering-Ansar’s words over them, a team which is comprised of non-scholars who deny historical facts in order to boost their debating prowess.

The above narration was recorded by Ibn Sa‘d from a man called Anas ibn ‘Iyad al-Laythi, who reported directly on the authority of Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (رضّى الله عنه), and he from his father Muhammad al-Baqir. In other words, we have here a purely Shia chain of narration via the Infallible Imams. Anas ibn ‘Iyad al-Laythi is regarded by reputable Shia rijal critics, such as an-Najashi and Ibn Mutahhar al-Hilli, as a companion of Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (رضّى الله عنه) who was “thiqah, sahih al-hadith” (reliable, a transmitter of authentic hadith). (See al-Ardabili, “Jami‘ ar-Ruwat”, vol. 1 p. 109, Dar al-Adwa, Beirut 1983) Since he narrates directly from the Infallible Imam, there can be no question about the veracity of his report. Thereupon, his report is corroborated by a wealth of other narrations all of which affirm the historicity of this marriage. Above it all is the fact that for over three centuries after the event this marriage remained uncontested, and it was only then that the Shia awoke to the threat that this marriage posed.

Two children were born from this marriage, namely Zayd (رضّى الله عنه) and Ruqayyah (رضّى الله عنها). After the martyrdom of Umar (رضّى الله عنه) Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها) was married to her cousin Awn ibn Jafar (رضّى الله عنه), and after his death to his brother Muhammad ibn Jafar (رضّى الله عنه). Ultimately she died while married to the third of Jafar’s son, namely Abdullah (رضّى الله عنه), during the first half of the fourth decade after the Hijrah. Umm Kulthoom’s son Zayd (رضّى الله عنه) died on the same day as her, and the funeral prayer for mother and son was performed together.

The marriage of Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها) has been unanimously accepted as a fact of history by all major biographers and historians. Its authenticity has never been contested by anyone—not even the staunchest Shia—during the first four centuries after the Hijrah. It was only during the fifth century that ash-Shaykh al-Mufid (died 413 AH) appears to have woken up to the threat that the acceptance of this marriage holds for the doctrine of the Shia and their particular view of history.

In later centuries the marriage of Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها) would become a major bone of contention for Shia polemicists. This marriage as a topic in Shia theology owes its importance to its open contradiction to Shia views of religion and history. This is expressed by the Shia authors Muhammad al-Hassun and Umm ‘Ali Mashkur in their book “A‘lam an-Nisa al-Mu’minat” (p. 182) in the following terms:

The marriage of Umm Kulthoom to Umar ibn al-Khattab is counted amongst the important issues presented to us by Islamic history, and as one of those matters around which debate and research has continued at length—and still continues. Those who regard this marriage as an authentic fact use it to prove the righteousness of her husband [Umar] and Ali’s acceptance of him. Otherwise, why would he give him his daughter in marriage? As for those who reject the historic occurrence of the marriage, or are of the opinion that it took place under pressure which Umar brought to bear upon Ali use this issue to justify the unrighteousness and viciousness of Umar, and that Ali u did not approve of him.

A glance at history shows that the attitude of the Shia towards Umm Kulthoom’s marriage (رضّى الله عنها) changed dramatically after the 5th century AH. Prior to that, the Shia scholarship had sung to the tune that Umar (رضّى الله عنه) had forced the marriage upon Ali (رضّى الله عنه), stolen the daughter of Ahlel Bayt, and was thus condemned based upon these acts. However, after the 5th century AH, the Shia attitude suddenly changed when it was realized that this made Ali (رضّى الله عنه) look like a coward; the Shia propagandists came up with the ingenious idea of simply denying that the marriage ever took place.

It would not be the first or last time that the Shia would adopt the simple technique of “deny, deny, deny.” Do we not see the Shia today who even deny basic facts like how many daughters the Prophet had? The Answering-Ansar website says that the Prophet only had one daughter, whereas the Shia website says that he had four. How can the Answering-Ansar team reconcile their position with that of Surely the reliability of the Shia comes into question when they deny simple facts and history that even their Shia contemporaries (and ancestors) did not deny.

The fourth century after the Hijrah witnessed the compilation of Muhammad ibn Ya‘qub al-Kulayni’s monumental work Al-Kafi. Al-Kulayni is referred to by the Shia as “Thiqatul-Islam” which translates to “The Trust of Islam.” He is the Shia version of Imam Bukhari: Al-Kulayni compiled the Shia Hadith into one large compendium. Al-Kafi was compiled in Baghdad during the Minor Occultation of the Hidden Imam (as stated by Aqa Buzurg Tehrani in “adh-Dhari‘ah”, vol.17, p.245) at a time when the representative of the Imam resided in that city, which afforded the opportunity for its contents to be scrutinized and ratified by the Hidden Imam himself (as stated by Ibn Tawus in his book “Kashf al-Mahajjah”, p.159) This is in itself proof of the authenticity of the narrations contained in the book (says al-Hurr al-‘Amili in “Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah”, vol.20, p.71). Al-Kafi actually bears the seal of approval of the Hidden Imam himself, and he was the one who named it “Al-Kafi” (meaning “sufficient”) by saying, as reported by al-Khwansari in “Rawdat al-Jannat” (vol.6, p.116): “hadha kafin li-shi‘atina” (This is sufficient for our Shia).

As has been mentioned above, at least four narrations in Al-Kafi refer to Umm Kulthoom’s marriage (رضّى الله عنها) to Umar (رضّى الله عنه). Not only this, but Al-Kulayni decided to dedicate the 23rd chapter in the Book of Marriage (Kitab an-Nikah) in Furoo al-Kafi to the marriage of Umm Kulthoom; consequently, he entitled the section to be “bab tazwig Umm Kulthoom” (the marriage of Umm Kulthoom). How can the Shia propagandist deny that these Hadith refer to Umm Kulthoom’s marriage (رضّى الله عنها) to Umar (رضّى الله عنه) when Al-Kulayni himself mentioned that these Hadith are in reference to Umm Kulthoom’s marriage (رضّى الله عنها) to Umar (رضّى الله عنه)? The Shia reader can even read the Hadith for himself as posted on

Then, we read in the foot-note on the same page, in which we read that the Hadith are in reference to Umm Kulthoom bint Ali and Umar bin Khattab: says
ام كلثوم هذه هى بنت امير المؤمنين عليه السلام قد خطبها اليه عمر في زمن خلافته فرده اولا فقال عمر ماقال وفعل مافعل

Translation: “[Regarding] Umm Khulthum, who is the daughter of Ameer al-Mu’mineen Ali, Umar proposed to Ali for her hand in marriage during his [Umar’s] caliphate, and at first Ali refused him. So then Umar said what he said, and did what he did [i.e compelled Ali by words and force].”

Thus, there can be absolutely no confusion as to who the two people in question are in this Hadith. itself admits that it is Ali’s daughter and the Caliph. This should be an earth-shattering blow to the Answering-Ansar Team and their childish antics.

Besides al-Kulayni, there were during this time other Shia authors too who affirmed the marriage of Umm Kulthoom in a way much similar to that of al-Kulayni. One of these was Abul Qasim al-Kufi (died 352 AH). He devoted a number of pages in his book “al-Istighathah fi Bida‘ ath-Thalathah” to the marriage of Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها), and after presenting several arguments and counter arguments, he concludes the following:

…when Umar asked for the hand of Umm Kulthoom, Ali thought to himself: “If I say no…that thing would come to pass which Rasool-Allah tried to prevent, and for which reason he asked me to exercise patience, which is that people will fall into apostacy.” It was better to hand over Umm Kulthoom to him than to kill him (Umar). He thus handed her over to him, knowing fully well that what the man had usurped of the wealth of the Muslims and of their government, and what he had perpetrated by denying his (Ali’s) right and sitting on the place of the Prophet, and his changes to and corruption of the laws and ordinances of Allah were far more terrible and dreadful than his forcible possession of his daughter. He handed her over, and resigned himself to patience, just like the Prophet had ordered him to do.

(Abul Qasim al-Kufi, “al-Istighathah fi Bida‘ ath-Thalathah”, p.90)

Thus, as can be seen, Abul Qasim Al-Kufi justified the marriage of Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها) by inventing some flimsy excuses such as that Ali (رضّى الله عنه) did not want people to fall into apostacy. Abul Qasim also claims that the injustices perpetrated by Umar (such as stealing the Caliphate, passing corrupt laws, and stealing Fadak) were far worse than the crime of stealing his daughter; Abul Qasim thereby concludes that if Ali (رضّى الله عنه) remained patient in regards to this greater crimes, then why should he now react impulsively for this lesser crime.

Does this Shia author not realize which girl he is talking about? He is talking about the biological daughter of Ali (رضّى الله عنه) and Fatima (رضّى الله عنها), the sister of Hasan (رضّى الله عنه) and Hussain (رضّى الله عنه), and the grand-daughter of the Prophet of Islam! How is it a “lesser crime” to give away without a fight a woman of Ahlel Bayt, and this to a man the Shia call a pervert and a murderer? Which father would sit by idly while his daughter is being forcibly taken by an abominable enemy and child-molesting pervert? This is the extent to which their twisting and corruption of history has led them—that they are prepared to place upon their Imams the kind of shame that even the simplest ones amongst themselves would never bear. As Allah says in the Quran: “And the evil plot only entraps its own people.” (Quran, al-Fatir:43)

In any case, we are going off on a tangent here by replying to Abul Qasim’s weak attempts at justifying the marriage. Let us get back on track: what we have established by quoting Abul Qasim is that he, like his Shia contemporaries, acknowledged the marriage of Umar bin Khattab (رضّى الله عنه) and Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها). After all, there is no point in brain-storming for excuses to explain away an event if that event never took place in the first place. The very fact that the classical Shia books contain justifications of the marriage proves without a shadow of doubt that the marriage took place! A simpleton could understand this logic.

After the Fifth Century AH

With the ascendancy of the Shia Buyids at Baghdad during the latter half of the fourth century, Shia scholarship gained the patronage it required, and there developed under ash-Shaykh al-Mufid a school of Shia theology that was to leave its lasting effect upon Shi‘ism. This school took full advantage of the methods and techniques of the existing schools of theology, especially the rationalist approach of the Mu‘tazilah. It adopted and appropriated Mu‘tazili methods to its own advantage, and rationalised much of what had earlier been left to the domain of textual authority.

The marriage of Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها) did not escape this process of rationalization. When this issue was discovered to run against the grain of Shia theology—a theology that has its roots in a particular perspective of history—there was but one of two options open to the rationalizers. They could choose the way of Abul Qasim al-Kufi, al-Kulayni and other traditionists, and accept the marriage as a union achieved by force and threats of violence. But this option, instead of solving the problem, created another problem: namely, it portrayed Ali (رضّى الله عنه) as a coward. The other option left open to them was to do a complete turnabout and deny that this marriage ever took place at all.

Ash-Shaykh al-Mufid

The lead was taken by ash-Shaykh al-Mufid himself. He wrote an independent treatise about the marriage of Umm Kulthoom, and discussed it in his other works as well, most notably al-Masa’il as-Sarawiyyah. The tenth question in this books deal with the marriage of Umm Kulthoom. It reads as follows:

TENTH QUESTION: What is his (al-Mufid’s) view regarding Amir al-Mu’minin marrying his daughter Umm Kulthoom to Umar ibn al-Khattab, and regarding the Prophet marrying his daughters Zaynab and Ruqayyah to Uthman?

ANSWER: The report speaking of Amir al-Mu’minin marrying his daughter to Umar ibn al-Khattab is unfounded. It is narrated via Zubayr ibn Bakkar, and its chain of narration is well known. He was untrustworthy in transmission. There is suspicion on him in what he mentions. He used to hate Amir al-Mu’minin. What Ali ibn Hashim claims to narrate from him is untrustworthy. This hadith was included by Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn Yahya in his book on genealogy, and account of that people thought it to be true, thinking that it is narrated by an ‘Alawi (descendant of Ali). However, the fact is that he narrates it from Zubayr ibn Bakkar…The hadith in itself is a forgery.

At this point the benefit of investigating the authenticity of the four reports in al-Kafi will become apparent. It can be seen here that al-Mufid places the responsibility for inventing the marriage of Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها) on the shoulders of the historian Zubayr ibn Bakkar. However, even a cursory comparison with the narrations in al-Kafi and the one quoted earlier from Tabaqat Ibn Sa‘d (all of which are but a drop in the ocean) demonstrates clearly that Zubayr ibn Bakkar features nowhere in any of those chains of narration. Each of the narrators of those reports was a Shia about whose trustworthiness the Ulema of the Shia were fully satisfied. Not a single one of those reports originated from Zubayr ibn Bakkar. On the contrary, each one of them is traced back to Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (رضّى الله عنه). Al-Mufid’s protestations are thus completely bereft of substance. If anything, it shows the man’s desperation for finding some grounds, no matter how flimsy or spurious, on which to dismiss the marriage of Umm Kulthoom.

Aside from trying to make Zubayr ibn Bakkar responsible for the invention of the marriage of Umm Kulthoom, al-Mufid tries to dismiss the incident by drawing attention to the discrepancies regarding certain lesser details. He claims that certain details about the marriage conflict, and thus the marriage is a myth; a similar approach is taken by Shia propagandists today. A simple response to this is that when a multitude of reports all share one common element, the common element cannot be dismissed because of differences in negligible details. An objective scholar who is not prejudiced by his idiosyncratic notion of what history should actually be like will never stoop to the level al-Mufid has.

Objectivity here would require thoroughly sifting through the available historical material and accepting the version that fulfils the criteria of authenticity, such as have been demostrated in the case of al-Kulayni’s narrations in al-Kafi. If an historical incident could be denied for a reason as flimsy as discrepancies in minor details, one could well reject the battle of Badr on grounds of the fact that there are differences regarding the exact date on which it took place, or differences in the amount of combatants, or even the amount of persons killed and taken captive. Here we are once again treated to the spectacle of a scholar’s desperation to superimpose the idiosyncracies of his theology over the facts of history, even if it means he has to discard the most basic standards of objectivity.

At the end al-Mufid’s nonchalance failed to convince anyone—including himself. Therefore, two paragraphs after denying the occurrence of Umm Kulthoom’s marriage (رضّى الله عنها) he comes back to fall into the queue of traditional Shia scholarship behind people like al-Kulayni and Abul Qasim al-Kufi, and writes:

Amir al-Mu’minin was coerced to marry his daughter to the man, because he was threatening and menacing him. There can thus be no argument against Amir al-Mu’minin because he was forced into it for his own safety and that of his Shia. He therefore complied under duress, just as we say that duress allows for even the pronunciation of Kufr. Allah says: “Except him who is forced, but his heart is content in faith.”

There is no end to one’s amazement at seeing how this man would place the safety of the Shia (“for his own safety and that of his Shia”) over the chastity and honor of his Imam’s daughter, and the Prophet’s grand-daughter.

The first explanation produced by al-Mufid—that of denying the historicity of the marriage—was so ludicrous that he failed to convince even himself. His own student, the eminent Sayyid Murtada (died 436 AH), brother of the compiler of “Nahjul Balagha”, Sayyid Radi, was even less impressed by his teacher’s artifices. He solemnly stuck to the line of traditional Shia scholarship, insisting that the marriage was one of coercion and force. He dealt with the marriage of Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها) in two of his books. In the book ash-Shafi he discussed it at considerable length, the gist of which he later incorporated into his other book “Tanzih al-Ambiya wal-A’immah”, where he writes:

As for giving his daughter in marriage, we have mentioned the answer to this in the book ash-Shafi in detail, and that he only consented to give his daughter after he had been threatened and menaced and after there had been altercations at length.

(Sayyid Murtada, “Tanzih al-Ambiya wal-A’immah”)

After Sayyid Murtada, Abu ‘Ali al-Fadl ibn Hasan at-Tabarsi, the Shia mufassir of the 6th century (died 502 AH) stuck to the same line. He writes in his book “I‘lam al-Wara bi-A‘lam al-Huda”:

As for Umm Kulthoom, she is the one whom Umar ibn al-Khattab married. Our associates say that he (Ali) only married her to him after putting up a lot of resistance, severe refusals and finding excuses. Ultimately he was forced by circumstances to turn her matter over to Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib who married her off.

(Abu ‘Ali al-Fadl ibn Hasan at-Tabarsi, “I‘lam al-Wara bi-A‘lam al-Huda”, p.204)

A later Shia scholar, Shaykh ‘Abd an-Nabi al-Kazimi, writes in his book “Takmilat ar-Rijal”:

The well known view of our associates, and the well known narrations are that Umar married her by force, as Sayyid Murtada emphatically insists in his treatise on the issue. In light of the narrations this is the more correct view. These narrations remove whatever doubt there might have been regarding how Amir al-Mu’minin could marry his daughter to him, when according to what the Shia believe it is not supposed to be permissible to have marital ties with him, since forcible possession and duress render everything permissible. The same applies to the objection regarding how he could have borne this forcible taking of his daughter when the very Hashimite spirit and Arab sense of honor would not tolerate such utter humiliation and insult. These texts settle the matter completely.

(Shaykh ‘Abd an-Nabi al-Kazimi, “Takmilat ar-Rijal”)

Having found this niche of the “forced taking” of Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها), these Ulema of the Shia took refuge in it from the torrent of questions and the utter indignation of anyone who witnesses the way in which they have shed their own shame and dishonor upon the memory of Ali (رضّى الله عنه) and his daughter. Year in and year out they wail and lament the death of Hussain (رضّى الله عنه), but for the honor of his sister Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها) they have not the slightest sympathy, blithely asserting that she was a “vagina forcibly taken” by Umar bin Khattab (رضّى الله عنه). Wouldn’t it be simpler, easier and indeed more honorable and truthful just to accept the course of history as it was? But no, to them that would mean the destruction of this edifice of theirs called Shi‘ism. So it is better for them to sacrifice the honor of the Prophet’s grand-daughter than to forgo the doctrines which their own minds fashioned. As al-Mufid indicated, they would rather “secure the safety of the Shia” than protect the honor of Umm Kulthoom bint Ali (رضّى الله عنها).


There is no doubt in the fact that Umm Kulthoom bint Ali (رضّى الله عنها) married Umar bin Khattab (رضّى الله عنه). The proof of this marriage can be found in Hadith found in Al-Kafi, the Shia’s most reliable book of Hadith. Her marriage was confirmed by Al-Kulayni, who for all intents and purposes is to the Shia who Imam Bukhari is to the Sunnis. It is narrated on the authority of the Infallible Imams themselves, including Imam Jafar (رضّى الله عنه) and Imam Al-Baqir (رضّى الله عنه). Not a single Shia scholar denied this marriage for four centuries, and we have herein included such Shia heavyweights as Abul Qasim Al-Kufi, Sayyid Murtada (brother of the compiler of “Nahjul Balagha”), at-Tabarsi (the Shia mufassir of the 6th century), Shaykh ‘Abd an-Nabi al-Kazimi, and pretty much every other Shia scholar before the 5th century AH. How is it that the Shia propagandists will reject the Shia heavyweights and instead accept the lightweight Answering-Ansar, who are neither religious scholars nor are they historians.

The secular historians who chronicled the era have included the marriage of Umm Kulthoom (رضّى الله عنها) to Umar (رضّى الله عنه) in their books and no neutral academic mind could accept the Shia propaganda, much like no secular historian would deny that the Prophet had more than one daughter. Thus, Umm Kulthoom’s marriage (رضّى الله عنها) is an established fact, and the only possible controversy could be the atmosphere surrounding the event. It is upto the reader to either accept the Shia version of this marriage in which Ali (رضّى الله عنه) is such a coward that he gives his daughter in marriage to his wife’s murderer, or the mainstream version of this marriage in which Ali (رضّى الله عنه) lovingly secures the future of his daughter by wedding her to the heroic Caliph of the Muslims.

Article Written By: Abu Muhammad al-Afriqi
Modified By: Ibn al-Hashimi, | Email : ahlelbayt[a] | English Version