270. It is related that during the days of (Caliph) ‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb, the question of the excess of the ornaments of the Ka‘bah was mentioned to him and some people suggested: If you prepare with it an army of Muslims that will be a matter of great reward; and what would the Ka‘bah do with the ornaments? ‘Umar thought of doing so but asked Amīr al-mu’minīn, peace be upon him, when he said:
When the Qur’ān was descended on the Prophet, peace be upon him and his descendants, there were four kinds of property. One, the property of Muslim individuals which he distributed among the successors according to fixed shares. Second, the tax (fay’) which he distributed to those for whom it was meant. Third, the One-fifth (khums) levy for which Allāh had fixed the ways of disposal. Fourth, amounts of charity (ṣadaqāt) whose disposal was also fixed by Allāh. The ornaments of Ka‘bah did exist in those days but Allāh left them as they were, but did not leave them by omission, nor were they unknown to Him. Therefore, you retain them where Allāh and His Prophet placed them.
فقال له عمر: لولاك لافتضحنا. وترك الحَلْي بحاله.
Thereupon, ‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb said: If you had not been here we would have been humiliated; and he left the ornaments as they were. 
 Among the first three Caliphs, ‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb often used to call upon Amīr al-mu’minīn for the solution of many unsolved problems and so as to benefit from his vast knowledge. But Abū Bakr, due to the short period of his caliphate, and ‘Uthmān, due to the special circumstances of his caliphate and his entourage, seldom used to call on Amīr al-mu’minīn and benefit from his advice. ‘Umar used to praise Amīr al-mu’minīn very much for his vast knowledge, saying: The most knowledgeable person among us in jurisprudence and judgement is ‘Alī. (aṣ-Ṣaḥīḥ, al-Bukhārī, vol. 6, p. 23; al-Musnad, Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, vol. 5, p. 113; al-Mustadrak, al-Ḥākim, vol. 3, p. 305; aṭ-Ṭabaqāt, Ibn Sa‘d, vol. 2, part 2, p. 102; al-Istī‘ab, vol. 3, p. 1102)
Certainly, there is no need for the evidence of ‘Umar and others in this field when ‘Umar himself and a group of the Companions confess that the Holy Prophet used to say: ‘Alī is the most knowledgeable in jurisprudence and judgement among my ummah (Muslim community). (Akhbār al-quḍāt, Wakī‘, vol. 1, p. 78; Maṣābīḥ as-sunnah, al-Baghawī, vol. 2, p. 203; al-Istī‘āb, vol. 1, pp. 16—17; vol. 3, p. 1102; ar-Riyāḍ an-naḍīrah, vol. 2, p. 108; as-Sunan, Ibn Mājah, vol. 1, p. 55)
In this connection, Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal narrates from Abū Hāzim that a certain man approached Mu‘āwiyah and put to him some questions on religion. Mu‘āwiyah said, “Refer this question to ‘Alī who possesses better knowledge.” The man said, “But I would rather have your reply than that of ‘Alī.” Mu‘āwiyah silenced him and said, “It is the worst thing I have heard from you. You have expressed hate towards the person whom the Messenger of Allāh used to coach and tutor as a mother bird feeds a nestling by putting grain after grain into the mouth of the nestling with its beak and to whom the Messenger of Allāh said : You hold the same position in relation to me as Hārūn held in relation to Mūsā except that there shall, in all certainty, be no prophet after me; and to whom ‘Umar used to turn for the solution of unsolved problems.” (Fayḍ al-qadīr, al-Munāwī, vol. 3, p. 46; ar-Riyāḍ an-naḍirah, vol. 2, p. 195; aṣ-Ṣawā‘iq al-muḥriqah, p. 107; Fatḥ al-bārī, vol. 17, p. 105)
Also ‘Umar used to say frequently: Women lack the ability to give birth to such as ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib. Had it not been for ‘Alī, ‘Umar would have been finished. (Ta’wīl mukhtalaf al-ḥadīth, Ibn Qutaybah, p. 202; al-Istī‘āb, vol. 3, p. 1103; Quḍāt al-Undulus, al-Māliqī, p. 73; ar-Riyāḍ an-naḍirah, vol. 2, p. 194; al-Manāqib, al-Khwārazmī, p. 39; Yanābī‘ al-mawaddah, pp. 75, 373; Fayḍ al-qadīr, vol. 4, p. 356)
He also used to say: I seek the protection of Allāh from the problems in which Abu’l-Ḥasan (‘Alī) is not present! (al-Istī‘āb, vol. 3, pp. 1102—1103; aṭ-Ṭabaqāt, vol. 2, part 2, p. 102; Ṣifatu ’ṣ-ṣafwah, Ibn al-Jawzī, vol. 1, p. 121; Usd alghābah, vol. 4, pp. 22—23; al-Iṣābah, vol. 2, p. 509: at-Tārīkh, Ibn Kathīr, vol. 7, p. 360)
‘Umar often addressed Amīr al-mu’minīn, thus: O ’ Abu’l-Ḥasan, I seek the protection of Allāh from being in a community among which you are not found. (al-Mustadrak, vol. 1, pp. 457—458; at-Tafsīr, Fakhr ad-Dīn ar-Rāzī, vol. 32, p. 10; ad-Durr al-manthūr, as-Suyuṭī, vol. 3, p. 144; ar-Riyāḍ an-naḍirah, vol. 2, p. 197; Fayḍ al-qadīr, vol. 3, p. 46; vol. 4, p. 356; aṣ-Ṣawā‘iq al-muḥriqah, p. 107)
Above all these confessions is the acknowledgement by the Holy Prophet of Amīr al-mu’minīn as narrated by ‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb himself, Abū Sa‘īd al-Khudrī and Mu‘ādh ibn Jabal that the Holy Prophet said: O ’ ‘Alī, I have exceeded you in prophethood, for there will be no prophet after me, and you exceed others in seven noble qualities. You are : i) the first who believed in Allāh; ii) the best fulfiller of the promise made to Allāh; iii) the best adherer to the commandments of Allāh; iv) the most equitable distributor among the people; v) the best dispenser of justice (or the most clement) to the (Muslims) subjects; vi) the one who has the best insight into controversial cases, (or the most learned in judgement); and vii) the most conspicuous in virtue and honour before Allāh. (Ḥilyah al-awliyā’, vol. l, pp. 65, 66; ar-Riyāḍ an-naḍirah, vol. 2, p. 198; al-Manāqib, al-Khwārazmī, p. 61; Kanz al-‘ummāl, vol. 12, p. 214; Ibn Abi’l-Ḥadīd, vol. 13, p. 230)
It is also narrated by Amīr al-mu’minīn, Abū Ayyūb al-Anṣārī, Ma‘qil ibn Yāsir and Buraydah ibn Ḥuṣayb that the Messenger of Allāh (S) said to Fāṭimah (a) that : Are you not satisfied? Surely, I have married you to the foremost of my ummah who believes in Islam, and the most knowledgeable among them and superior among them in clemency. (al-Musnad, Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, vol. 5, p. 26; al-Muṣannaf, aṣ-Ṣan‘ānī, vol. 5, p. 490; al-Istī‘āb, vol. 3, p. 1099; Usd al-ghābah, vol. 5, p. 520; Kanz al-‘ummāl, vol. 12, p. 205; vol. 15, p. 99; Majma‘ az-zawā’id, vol. 9, pp. 101, 114; as-Sīrah al-ḥalabiyyah, vol. l, p. 285)
After we read the following saying of the Holy Prophet, it is no surprise for us to note that the above acknowledgements of the vast knowledge of Amīr al-mu’minīn and his efficiency in the field of jurisprudence and judgement were made.
I am the city of knowledge and ‘Alī is its gate; he who wants to acquire (my) knowledge must come through the gate. (al-Mustadrak, vol. 3, pp. 126, 127; al-Istī‘āb, vol. 3, p. 1102; Usd al-ghābah, vol. 4, p. 22; Tandhīb at-thdhīb, vol. 6, pp. 320— 321; vol. 7, p. 337; Majma‘ az-zawā’id, vol. 9, p. 114; Kanz al-‘ummāl, vol. 12, pp. 201, 212; vol. 15, pp. 129 -130)
Also, the Holy Prophet said : I am the store-house of wisdom and ‘Alī is its gate. He who wants to acquire wisdom must come through the gate. (al-Jāmi‘aṣ-ṣaḥīḥ, at-Tirmidhī, vol. 5, pp. 637 -638; Ḥilyah al-awliyā’, vol. l, p. 64; Maṣābīḥ as-sunnah, al-Baghawī, vol. 2, p. 275; ar-Riyāḍ an-naḍirah, vol. 2, p. 193; Kanz al-‘ummāl, vol. 12, p. 201)