Muḥammad b. Al-Ḥanafīyah – Allāh have mercy on him – reports, “I asked my father (‘Alī), ‘Who is the best person after Allāh’s Messenger – Allāh’s peace and blessings be upon him?’ He replied, ‘Abū Bakr.’ I said, ‘And then who?’ He replied, “Then Umar.’ I feared he would say ‘Uthmān; I said, ‘And then you.’ He said, ‘I am just a man amongst the Muslims.’”

Al-Bukhārī and others.

Commenting on ʿAli’s response ‘I am just a man amongst the Muslims,’ Ibn Ḥajr states in Fatḥ Al-Bārī, “He said this out of modesty and humbleness, despite knowing that at the time of asking he was the best of people at the time, for this was after the killing of ‘Uthmān.”

May Allāh be pleased with them all.