The fundamental account about the assembly at the Saqīfat Banī Sā'ida, in which the succession of Abū Bakr to Muḥammad was decided, goes back to 'Abd Allāh b. al-'Abbās. All other reports make use of information drawn from it or are later elaborations of it. Slightly variant versions with different chains of transmission are provided by Ibn Hishām, al-Ṭabarī, 'Abd al-Razzāq b. Hammām, al-Bukhārī and Ibn Ḥanbal. The isnāds meet in al-Zuhrī, who related the report of Ibn al-'Abbās on the authority of 'Ubayd Allāh b. 'Abd Allāh b. 'Utba b. Mas'ūd. The account clearly reflects the characteristic point of view of Ibn al-'Abbās, and there is no reason to doubt the reliability of the chain of transmitters.
Ibn al-'Abbās narrated that on the occasion of the last pilgrimage led by the caliph 'Umar, that is in Dhu 1-Ḥijja 23/October 644, he, Ibn al-'Abbās, was visited at his campsite (manzil) at Minā by 'Abd al-Raḥmān b. 'Awf, whom he used to assist in the recitation of the Qur’ān (uqri'uhu l-Qur'ān). 'Abd al-Raḥmān reported that he had witnessed the caliph on that day being approached by a man who addressed him: 'What are you going to do about a man who says: By God, if 'Umar b. al-Khaṭṭāb were to die, I would swear allegiance to so-and-so (fulān). By God, the oath of allegiance for Abū Bakr was merely a precipitate deal which then was carried out (mā kānat bay'at Abī Bakr iliā falta fa-tammat).’
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