272. Amīr al-mu’minīn, peace be upon him, said: If my steps acquire firmness out of these slippery places, I will alter several things. 
 It cannot be denied that after the Prophet of Islam changes came into existence in the religion when some people acting upon their imagination, amended or altered the commands of the sharī‘ah, although no one has the right to make alteration in the sharī‘ah, namely to ignore the clear commands of the Qur’ān and the sunnah and enforce commands produced by his own imagination and thinking. Thus, the Qur’ān contains this clear method of divorce that “(Revokable) Divorce (i.e. divorce in which resumption of conjugal relations is permissible without a marriage to another man taking place) may be twice” (Qur’ān, 2:229). But in view of certain supposed advantages the Caliph ‘Umar ordered three divorces to be pronounced on a single occasion. Similarly, he introduced the system of ‘awl in inheritance and introduced four takbīr in the funeral prayer. In the same way the Caliph ‘Uthmān added an adhān to the Friday prayer, ordered the offering of full prayers in place of qasr (shortened) ones, and allowed the sermon to precede the ‘īd prayer. In fact, hundreds of commands of this type were fabricated, as a result of which even correct commands got mixed with the wrong ones and lost their authenticity. (For changes made see: al-Ghadīr, al-Amīnī [by Abū Bakr], vol. 7, pp. 74-236; [by ‘Umar], vol. 6, pp. 83-325; [by ‘Uthmān], vol. 8, pp. 98-387; an-Naṣṣ wa’l-ijtihād, Sharafu’d-Dīn [by Abū Bakr], pp. 76-154; [by ‘Umar], pp. 155-276; [by ‘Uthmān], pp. 284—289. See also Muqaddamah mir’ātu’l-‘uqūl, al-‘Askarī, vol. 1 & 2).
Amīr al-mu’minīn, who was the greatest scholar of the sharī‘ah, used to protest against these commands and had his own views as against the Companions. In this connection, Ibn Abi’l-Ḥadīd writes: There is no possibility for us to deny that Amīr al-mu’minīn had views on the commands of the sharī‘ah and opinions at variance with those of the Companions. (Sharḥ Nahj al-balāghah, vol.19, p.161)
When Amīr al-mu’minīn assumed charge of the formal caliphate, revolts soon cropped up on all sides and he did not get rid of these troubles up to the last moment. Consequently, the altered commands could not be fully corrected and many wrong or doubtful commands gained currency in areas far removed from the centre. Nevertheless, the group of people who were associated with Amīr al-mu’minīn used to enquire about the commands of the sharī‘ah from him and recorded them, as a result of which the correct commands did not disappear and the wrong ones did not become unanimously accepted.