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Salaam, May be I have totally misunderstood the concept of sunnah. The definition I found was: The sunnah of Muhammad includes his specific words (Sunnah Qawliyyah), habits, practices (Sunnah Fiiliyyah), and silent approvals (Sunnah Taqririyyah). According to Muslim belief, Muhammad was the best exemplar for Muslims, and his practices are to be adhered to in fulfilling the divine injunctions, carrying out religious rites, and moulding life in accord with the will of God. Instituting these practices was, as the Quran states, a part of Muhammad's responsibility as a messenger of God. Recording the sunnah was an Arabian tradition and, once people converted to Islam, they brought this custom to their religion. Based on the above, I made the determination that the Prophet (saw) asking Imam Ali (as) for help in a variety of affairs can and should be considered established sunnah. Then I remembered the following: O Sons of 'Abdu 'l-Muttalib! By Allah, I do not know of any person among the Arabs who has come to his people with better than what I have brought to you. I have brought to you the good of this world and the next, and I have been commanded by the Lord to call you unto Him. Therefore, who amongst you will support me in this matter so that he may be my brother (akhhi), my successor (wasiyyi) and my caliph (khalifati) among you? This was the first time that the Prophet openly and publicly called the relations to accept him as the Messenger and Prophet of Allah; he also uses the words "akhi wa wasiyyi wa khalifati- my brother, my successor, my caliph" for the person who will aid him in this mission. No one answered him; they all held back except the youngest of them - 'Ali bin Abi Talib. He stood up and said, "I will be your helper, O Prophet of God." The Prophet put his hand on the back of 'Ali's neck and said: "Inna hadha akhhi wa wasiyyi wa khalifati fikum, fasma'u lahu wa ati'u - Verily this is my brother, my successor, and my caliph amongst you; therefore, listen to him and obey." Based on my limited knowledge, I think calling upon Ali is sunnah as the very least (based on the definition of sunnah) and obligatory at most (based on the Prophet (saw) making Imam Ali (as) his wasi in return for promising to help the Prophet (saw)). I could even argue that the Prophet using Imam Ali (as) for services to Islam was divine Will. But then someone on SC said the following: What am I missing?
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