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

Al-Bukhârî and others.

Commenting on ‘Ali’s response ‘I am just a man amongst the Muslims,’ Ibn Hajr states in Fath Al-Bârî, “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 ‘Uthmân.”

May Allâh be pleased with them all.