abdalQadir, I believe that to consider hazrat abu bakr or Imam Ali as afdal after the Noble Prophet(s) is based upon conjectural and probable evidences. We may say so and so is most likely afdal but we cannot say that so and so is definately 100% afdal because the evidences from which it is proven are speculative and probable. as for the atqa verse above presented to prove Hazrat Aby Bakr al-siddiq's afdaliyyat, it only serves as a probable evidence because we do not have an unanimous agreement that the atqa means atqa but rather a great number of mufassirun have stated that atqa means taqi, i.e., sift mushabba. Secondly, it is also not unanimous that the verse was revealed for hazrat abu bakr. so both points upon which the justification depends rests on speculative and probable evidence hence whatever is proven from it will also be probable.