Did Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) name his son after Umar Ibn Khattab?
Tags: Ahle Bait (a.s.), Ettihad, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Imam Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.), Imamat, Sahaabah
Muslims, who are antagonistic to the Ahle Bait (a.s.) and Shias, claim that the pseudo-caliphs and wives held a high status. As proof they maintain that even Ameerul Momineen Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) held them in high regard and named his sons after the usurpers of caliphate.
According to these Muslims, Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) named one of his sons after Umar b. Khattab and this is proof that relations between the two were warm and Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) accepted Umar as a deserving caliph.
To suggest that Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) named his son after Umar b. Khattab is ridiculous.
Just like Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) had sons Usman and Abu Bakr who were not named after Usman b. Affaan and Abu Bakr b. Abi Quhafah, likewise his son Umar was not named after Umar b. Khattab.
Unless, expressly mentioned by Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), it is mere speculation and in fact an accusation to conclude that he named his son after Umar b. Khattab.
Here is an interesting incident on how the Ahle Bait (a.s.) never preferred names of caliphs even for children of their companions.
Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) orders companion to rename son
It is narrated from Ahmad b. Amrah: I went to meet Imam Reza (a.s.) while my wife was pregnant.
I said to him (a.s.), “My wife is pregnant. Please pray to Allah that he should give us a boy.”
He (a.s.) prophesied, “It’s a boy. Name him Umar.”
I said, “I had intended to name him Ali and I have asked my wife to do so.”
He (a.s) reiterated, “Name him Umar.”
I returned to Kufa. I had been blessed with a baby boy and my wife had named him Ali. I renamed him Umar.
When my neighbour (who was an anti-Shia bigot) met me, he exclaimed, “Henceforth, I shall never believe any of the rumors spread about you (that you are a Shia).”
I then realized that surely Imam (a.s.) knew of my conditions better than myself.
- Al Kharaaej wa al-Jaraayeh, vol. 1 p. 362 tradition 16
- Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 49 p. 52 tradition 55
Clearly, names of pseudo-caliphs served a very useful purpose which these Muslims do not realize or even care to admit. As this incident shows, Imams (a.s.) had a motive in recommending names of pseudo-caliphs, which dawned on society much later. So, it is quite likely that Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) named his sons after the caliphs so that Shias under pressure from the enemies of Ahle Bait (a.s.) could claim that they love Abu Bakr, Umar and Usman (meaning sons of Ali a.s.) to escape persecution. Maybe Shias under stress could even name their sons Abu Bakr, Umar and Usman, i.e. sons of Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) and NOT the pseudo-caliphs.
If the Imams (a.s.) did not even like their companions to name their sons after the pseudo-caliphs, where is the question of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) naming his son after the pseudo-caliphs?