‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib (R) (Vol.II)

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Dr. Ali Muhammad Sallaabee
Language: English | Format: PDF | Pages: 1297 | Size: 33 MB

Succession to the Prophet…The murder of `Uthman and the quest for justice…The Battle of the Camel…Ahl al-Bayt…Caliphs and Imams…Moderation and extremism…

This book is far more than a biography, as it discusses major issues that have their origins in the early decades of Islam, the repercussions of which are still felt today. In this book, Dr. Sallabi guides the reader through a myriad of hadiths and reports, peeling away the centuries-old layer of fabrications and distortions through which hostile elements both in the Muslim world and beyond sought to conceal the truth. What emerges is a clear picture of the first great turmoil that engulfed the Muslim world and how the noble Companions of the Prophet and the members of his family worked together to resolve these momentous issues, following the guidance and teaching brought by the Messenger of Allah.

The true battle for hearts and minds is that which is raging in the Muslim world today, where many vested interests are seeking to distort the very self-image of the Muslims. It is high time for us to reclaim our history and to stop letting others tell it for us. This book is of great importance as it sets the record straight on a period of our history that is of major significance. Every Muslim who cares about the big issues faced by Islam and Muslims should read this book.

Dr. Ali M. Sallabi is famous for his detailed books of history and biography that bring the past to life for modern readers. Dr. Sallabi was born in Libya in 1383 H/1963 CE, and earned a bachelor’s degree at the Islamic University of Madinah, graduating first in his class. He completed his master’s and doctorate degrees at Omdurman Islamic University in Sudan.

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‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib (R) (Vol.II)

  1. 1. VOLUME TWO 4h&j@& Kalamullah.Com Dr. Ali M. Sallabi Translated byNasiruddin al-Khattab
  2. 2. Contents of Volume 2Arabic honorific symbols used in this book ................... 13Pronunciation and Transliteration Chart ........................... 14About the Word Lord......................................................... 18CHAPTER VIThe Battles of the Camel and Siffeen,and the Issue of Arbitration.................. 1. Events that preceded the Battle of the Camel ............... .. 25 1.1. Impact of the Sabais in causing turmoil....... ......... . 26 1.1.1. The Sabais - fact or fiction? The reality of Abdullah ibn Saba ........ ..... ... .......... 26 1.1.2. The role of Abdullah ibn Saba in stining up fituah.. .................................. . . . . 3 1 1.2. Different views among the Companions concerning the way to cany out retaliation against the murderers of Uthmh ...... ... ... .......... . ............ .. . 35 1.3. Az-Zubayr, Talhah and kishah and their supporters set out for Basra to set things straight ........................ 38 1.3.1. Was Aishah forced to go out? ...................... 44 1.3.2. Was she in control of those who were with her? 45 1.3.3. Attitude of the wives of the Prophet towards those who sought vengeance for the murder of Uthmh.. , 45 1.3.4. kishabs passing by the oasis of al-Hawab ... 48 1.3.5. Their actions in Basra. ....... .. ......... ... .... ..... . .. 51 1.3.6. The slaying of Hnkaym ibn Jablah and the thugs who were with him .......................... 52 1.3.7. The letters of kishah to other regions ........... 54
  3. 3. 6 Contents o Volume 2 f 1.3.8. Difference of opinion between Uthmin ibn Hunayf and the m y of kishah, az-Zubayr and Talhah..... 55 1.4. Ali ibn Abi Tilib sets out for Kufah ..................... 56 1.4.1. Advice of Abdullah ibn S a l h to Ali ............ 59 1.4.2. Advice of al-Hasan ibn Ali to his father ........ 59 1.4.3. Request of Ali from the oasis of Dhu Qkfor suppoa from the people of Kufah .......................... 61 1.4.4. Difference of opinion should not affect the love between people ............................... 62 1.4.5. Questions on the road ..................................... 64 1.5. Attempts at reconciliation ....................................... 66 1.6. The outbreak of fighting ...................................... 70 1.6.1. The role of the Sabais in the outbreak of fighting ............................................... 70 1.6.2. The first round of the Battle of the Camel ...... 76 1.6.3. The second round of the Battle of the Camel ... 79 1.6.4. The number of people killed ........................... 83 1.6.5. Is it hue that Marwih ibn al-Hakam killed Talhah ibn Ubaydull&? .............................. 85 1.6.6. The call of Ali after the battle ....................... 86 1.6.7. Checking on the slain and praying for mercy for them .................................... 87 1.6.8. The allegiance of the people of Basra ............. 88 1.6.9. The hadith of Abu Bakrah from the Messenger of Allah: If two Muslims face one another with swords, then the slayer and the slain will be in he1l.......... 89 1.6.10. The date of the Battle of the Camel .............. 91 1.6.11. Shouldnt we leave them alone when they are Muslim women? ............................ 92 1.6.12. Abu Bakrah ath-Thaqafis request to not be appointed as governor of Basra ................... 92
  4. 4. Ali ibn Abi Trilib 7 1.6.13. The attitude of Mi towards A those who reviled Aishah .......................... .......... 93 1.6.14. amm mi^ ibn Yisirs defence of the Mother of the Believers Aishah . . ........................ 93 1.7. Between Aishah the Mother of the Believers and Amir al-Mumineen Ali ibn Abi TEtlib ....................... 93 1.7.1. The angel brought her image to the Prophet on a cloth of fine silk before her maniage to him. .... 94 1.7.2. The most beloved of the wives of the Prophet 94 1.7.3. The Prophet received revelation when he was under her blanket with her, but never with his other wive 95 1.7.4. Jibreel sent his to her with the Prophet ....... ........ ....... ........... . . 96 1.7.5. The Prophet went to her first when the verse instructing him to give his wives the choice was revealed 96 1.7.6. The revelation of v Book of Allah because of her ................................ 97 1.7.7. When the Messenger of Allah was ill, he wanted to be cared for in Aishahs house .... ... 99 1.7.8. He (the Prophet) told her that she was one of the people of paradise............ ....... .............. 99 1.7.9. The superiority of Aishah over other women is l i e the superio other kinds of food 100 1.7.10. Comparative virtues of Aishah, Khadeejah and Fitimah (may Allah be pleased with them a l 105 l) 1.8. The life and martyrdom of az-Zubayr ibn al-Awwh 113 1.9. Biography and martyrdom of Tabah ibn UbayduUah 1332. The Battle of Siffeen (37 AH) ....... ............................... 142 2.1. Chain of events leading up to the battle ........... ..... 142
  5. 5. 8 Content.7 o Volume 2 f 2.1.1. Umm Habeebah bint Abi S u f y h sends an-Numh ibn Basheer with Uthmhs chemise to Muiwiyah and the people of Syria ..................142 2.1.2. Muiwiyahs motives for not swearing allegiance 44 2.1.3. Muiwiyah responds to Amir al-Mumineen Ali ibn Abi Tilib ................................................ 146 2.1.4. Amir al-Mumineen Alis preparations for the march to Syria. and al-Hasans objection to that ... 147 2.1.5. After the Battle of the Camel. Ali sent Jareer ibn Abdullah to Muiwiyah ........................147 2.1.6. Alis march to Syria ..................................... 149 2.1.7. Muiwiyahs going out to Siffeen ..................150 2.1.8. The fight for the water ...................................152 2.1.9. Cooling off and attempts at reconciliation ...... 153 2.2. Outbreak of fighting .............................................. 154 2.2.1. The first day of the battle .............................. 155 2.2.2. The second day ........................................ 156 2.2.3. The night of clamor and Friday ..................... 159 2.2.4. The call for arbitration ................................... 160 2.2.5. The killing of Ammir ibn Yisir and its effect on the Muslims ............................... 165 2.2.6. The scholars understanding of the hadith ...... 167 2.2.7. Refuting the statement of Muiwiyah that Arnmir was killed by those who had brought him to the battlefield ......................... 169 2.2.8. Who was the killer of A m % ibn Yisir? ..... 171 2.2.9. Noble conduct during battle ........................... 173 2.2.10. Treatment of captives ................................... 175 2.2.1 1. The number of people slain .......................... 176
  6. 6. Ali ibn Abi Ttlib 9 2.2.12. Alis inspection of the dead and praying for mercy for them ...................... ....... .....,177 2.2.13. Attitude of MuC%wiyah towards the Byzantine rule 78 2.2.14. A false st A Amr ibn al-As at Siffeen..................................... 179 2.2.15. Ali visits a graveyard on his way back from Siffeen 80 2.2.16. Insistence of Uthrnins murderers that the battle should continue ....... ................... . ...... 181 2.2.17. Amir al-Mumineen Ali forbids impugning Muiwiyah and cursing the people of Syria .......... 182 3. Arbitratio 83 3.1. Biography of Abu Moosa d-Ashari ...................... 184 3.2. The biography of Amr ibn al-AS ......................... 197 3.3. The text of the arbitration document ......................207 3.4. The famous story of the arbitration, which is incorrect for many reasons .........................................210 3.5. Is it possible to learn from the arbitration incident in resolving conflicts among Muslim states? .............. 223 3.6. Attitude of Ah1 as-Snnnah towards these wars .......225 3.7. Warning against some books which distort the history of the Companions............... ........... ......... 233 3.8. The Orientalists and Islamic history. .............. .......,243CHAPTER SEVENAlis attitude towards the Kharijites and Shia ..............251 ... 1. The Khanjites ............... ....................... .... . ............... ... ..251 1.1. Origin and definition of the Kharijites .......... ........,251 1.2. Hadiths which criticise the Kharijites .................. ...255 1.3. The gathering of the Kharijites in Haroora and the debate of Ibn Abbzs with them ....................260
  7. 7. 10 Contents of Volume 2 1.4. Ali goes out to debate with the remainder of the Kharijites. and his policy on dealimg with them after they came back to Kufah then rebelled again ....267 1.5. The battle of Nahraw5.n. 38 AH ............................ 273 1.6. Rulings of Islamic law resulting from the battles of Amir al-Mumineen Ali ........................................ 282 1.7. Most significant characteristics of the Kharijites....289 2 . Amir al-Mumineen Ali and Shiite thought ..................311 2.1. The meaning of the words Shia and ‘Raft in the Arabic language and in Sharia terminology ................311 2.2. Origin of the Rifidi Shia and the role of the Jews therein ....................................... 319 2.3. Stages that the Rgfifidi Shia went through ............... 327 3. Beliefs of the Imarni RZfidi Shia...................................332 3.1. The status of the Imam in their view. and the ruling on the one who denies it .................... 334 3.2. Infallibility according to the Riififidi Shia ................347 3.3. Appointment by name is one of the conditions of imamate according to the Twelver Imami Shia ..........378 What the Twelver Shia quote as evidence from the Sunni books for limiting the number of Imams.......... 388 Their evidence from the Quran ............................... 390 Their evidence from the Sunnah .................... --- ........405 3.4. Tawheed and the Twelver Shia..............................430 3.5. The attitude of the Imami Shia towards the Noble Quran .......................................................472 3.6. The attitude of the Imarni Shia towards the noble Companions ............................................... 502 Prohibition of the early generation from reviling the Companions ............................................ 538 3.7. Attitude of the Shia towards the Sunnah................541
  8. 8. Ali ibn Abi T i olb II The attitude of the Shia towards the Sunnah, due to the Shia regarding the Companions as disbelievers.....,546 The word of the Imam is like the word of Allah and His Messenger ..................... ..........................547 3.8. Shia view of Taqiyyah . ....... ..................................552 3.9. The awaited Mahdi between Shiites and Sunnis .....562 3.10. Rifiifidi Shiite belief that some people will be brought back from the dead ............... ....................... .570 3.11. Their belief in bada (change in the divine decree) 574 3.12. The attitude of Ah1 d-Bayt towards the Rifidi Shia 579 3.13. Stance concerning the idea of rapprochement between Ah1 as-Sunnah and the Shia .........................5844. The last days of the life of Amir d-Mnmineen Ali ibn Abi Taib (&) and his martyrdom ......... ..........603 4.1. The aftermath of Nahrawin ...... .. ...... ...... ........ . .. ....603 4.2. Alis attempts to motivate his army, then the trnce with MuZwiyah. .... . .......... .................... ......... ..,607 4.3. The supplication of Amir d-Mumineen Ali asking that his martyrdom be hastened ...................... 610 4.4. Alis awareness that he would be martyred...........611 4.5. The martyrdom of Amir d-Mumineen Ali and the lessons to be learned from it... ...... ..................... ..613 4.5.1. The meeting of the conspirators . . .. ................,614 4.5.2. Ibn Maljams dep-e and his meeting with Q * u, the daughter of ashshajnah ........... ...615 4.5.3. Muhammad ihn d-Hanafiyyah narrated the story of the slaying of Amir al-Mumineen Ali ............617 4.5.4. The doctors advice to Ali and his inclination towards the process of consultation ............. ......... .618 4.5.5. Find advice of Ali to his sons d-Hasan and al-Hnsayn .................... ...... ........ ...... 618
  9. 9. 12 Contents of Volume 2 4.5.6. Alis prohibition of mutilation or torture . . of h s kdler. ............. .... .............. . ..... . .... ..... ...........621 4.5.7. The length of Alis caliphate, the location of his grave and the age at which he was killed .......625 4.5.8. The speech of al-Hasan ibn Ali after the slaying of his father ................................ 627 4.5.9. Sad ibn Abi Waqqis praises Ali ..................627 4.5.10. Abdullah ibn Umar praises Ali ibn Abi T2ib 627 4.5.11. How Muiwiyah responded to the news of Alis slayin 28 4.5.12. What al-Hasan d-Basri said ... .................... ..629 4.5.13. What A 30 of the murder of Ali 30 4.5.15. The danger posed by the misguided and deviant groups to the Muslims ....................... 631 4.5.16. The deeply entrenched grudges against the sincere believers that filled the hearts of the Kharijites... ....................... ...............,632 4.5.17. Impact of a bad environment on the people who live in it 33 4.6. Eulogies for Amir d-Mumineen Ali ....................635 39 41Weak and fabricated hadiths about Ali ibn Abi T2lib 07Glossary of Islamic terms 15Bibliograph 27
  10. 10. Arabic honorific symbolsused in this book(&) : Subhrinahu wa tarila - "The Exalted"(B): Salla-Allrihu alayhi wa sallam - "Blessings and peace be upon him"(s) : Alayhis-sal6m - "May peace be upon him"(&) : Rdiya-Allrihu anhu - "May Allah be pleased with him"(%) : Radiya-All6hu anha - "May Allah be pleased with her"
  11. 11. Pronunciation andTransliteration Chart Promnciation Transliterated short as in cat a, I v I /b/ as in bell, rubber and tab / b I or atu(n), ati(n) or ata(n) when in I Arabic word) uninterrupted speech 3 t /j/ as in jam, ajar and age j 2 a harsher sound than the English initial /h/, and may occur medially and I in word-final position as well / - i las in Bach (in German); may occur/ initially and medially as well kh , /dl as in do, muddy and red d 5 as in this, father, and with dh I J r/ as in raw, art and war; may also b r a rolled r, as with Spanish words
  12. 12. Ali ibn Abi Tilib 15IArabic script j Pronunciation /z/ as in zoo, easy and gaze z i+* IS/ as in so, messy and grass s , j. as in ship, ashes and rush sh I no close equivalent in English, but I 1 may be approximated by pronouncing it as /sw/ or no close equivalent in English, I but may be approximated by I 1 pronouncing /dl farther back in the mouth no close equivalent in English, I but may be approximated by I 1 pronouncing It/ farther back in the mouth i; no close equivalent in English, dh I but may be approximated by I I I pronouncing the I I farther back in the mouth no close equivalent in English: a guttural sound in the back of the throat no close equivalent in English, but may be closely approximated by pronouncing it like the French /r/ in rouge If/ as in fill, effort and muff
  13. 13. 16 Pronunciation and transliteration char1 Arabic script 1 Pronunciation /~ransliteratedl1 2 I no close equivalent in English, I q 1 but may be approximated by pronouncing /k/ farther back in the mouth 3 1 /k/ as in king, buckle and tack 1 k J Ifl/ as in lap, halo; in the word ~llah,l 1 it becomes velarized as in ball f / /m/ as in men, simple and ram 1 mI I In/ as in net, ant and can I n I/ - - 1 /h/ as in hat; unlike /h/ in English, 1 h 1I I in Arabic /h/ is pronounced / 1 in medial and word-hal positions as weli 4 as in wet and away w 3 long u, as in boot and too 00 (as a vowel)i s as in yet and yard I Y 1 is long e, as in eat, beef and see ee (as a vowel) 7 = ! glottal stop: may be closely b approximated by pronouncing it like t in the Cockney English initial position) ronunciation of buner: buer, or th stop sound in uh - oh!
  14. 14. Ali ibn Abi Ttlib 17Diphthongs: Arabic script Pronunciation Transliterated as: ji Long o, as in owe, boat and go au, aw, ow 6 @I Long a, as in able, ay, ai, ei rain and sayDiacritical marks (tashkeel): as: very short a or schwa a/ fa@& 1 (unstressed vowel) 1 1 shorter version of ee or schwa kasrah (unstressed vowel) shorter version of oo Dammah a doubled consonant is stressed in the word, and the length of the sound is also doubled no vowel sound between
  15. 15. About the word Lord %e word lord in English bas several related meanings. Theoriginal meaning is master or ruler, and in this sense it is oftenused to refer to human beings: the lord of the mansion or Lord So-and-So (in the United Kingdom, for example). The word Lord with acapital L is used in the lexicon of Islam to refer to the One and OnlyGod-Allah. In Islam, there is no ambiguity about the meaning of thisword. While it is true that one may occasionally use the word lord(whether capitalized or not) to refer to a human being, in Islamicdiscourse the reference of this term is always clear from the context.Whereas for Christians, Hindus and other polytheists, the word Lordwith a capital L may refer to Allah, to Jesus or to some imagineddeity, for Muslims, there can be no plurality of meaning. AUah aloneis the Lord, and the Lord is AUah - not Jesus, not Rama, not anyother being. The Editor
  16. 16. CHAPTER SIXThe Battles of the Camel and Siffeen,and the Issue of ArbitrationcAllah (s) says:4If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peacebetween them: but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds againstthe other, then fight ye [all] againstthe one that transgresses until itcomplies with the command of Allah, but if it complies, then rnakepeace between them with justice, and be fair: for AUah loves thosewho are fair [and just]. The Believers are but a single Brotherhood:So make peace and reconciliation between your two [contending]brothers: And fear Allah that ye may receive Mercy.) (Quran 49: 9-10) It was narrated that Anas ibn M2ik ( > said: "It was said to &)the Prophet (g): dont you go to Abdullah ibn Ubayy (to Whypersuade him to accept Islam)? So he went to him, riding a donkey,and the Muslims set out too, and (they passed over) saline ground.When the Prophet (g) to him, he said: Do not come near me, camefor by Allah the stench of your donkey offends me. One of the An&said: By Allah (%), the donkey of the Messenger of AUah (g,)smells better than yon do. One of Abdullabs people got angry on hisbehalf, then the two groups got angry with one another and hit eachanother with palm branches, hands and shoes. We heard that thefollowing words were revealed concerning them: 41f two partiesamong the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace betweenthem.$. (Quran 49: 9)"
  17. 17. 20 The Battles of the Camel andSijjeen, and the issue of arbitration It was narrated from al-Hasan, from Ali ibn Abi Talhah, fromIbn Abbas concerning that verse, (If two paties among theBelievers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them: but if oneof them transgresses beyond bounds against the other, then fight ye[all] against the one that msgresses until it complies with thecommand of ~ i i a h , )(Quran 49: 9) that AUah (%) commanded theProphet (g) the believers that if two groups among the believers andfight, they should call them to the ruling of Allah and reach a fair dealbetween them. If they respond, then they should be judged inaccordance with the Book of Allah, so that the group that waswronged may settle scores with the group that wronged them. If theyrefuse to comply, then they have committed a transgression, and it isthe duty of the leader of the believers to fight them until they complywith the command of Allah and accept His ruling.2 The words of Allah (&),BIf two parties among the Believersfall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them) mean that thepeople in authority must t ~ y reconcile between them by advising tothem and calling them to the rule of AUah (s), discussing with themand trying to remove any misunderstanding and causes of dispute.The word if serves to point out that it is not proper for fighting totake place between the Muslims; if it happens, it is something veryrare. This verse is addressed to the people in authority, and the orderis binding.3 (Bukhari and others quoted this verse as evidence that nomatter how great a sin may be, it does not put one beyond the pale of slam;^ this is contrary to the opinion of the Kharijites, who said thatthe one who commits a major sin is a disbeliever who will be in hell.)It is recorded in Saheeh al-Bukhari that Abu ~ a k r a h (&) said: "TheMessenger of Allah (g) gave a speech one day, and with him on theminbar was al-Hasan ibn Ali (&). The Prophet (g) started lookingfrom him to the people, and he said: This son of mine is a leader, andperhaps Allah will reconcile two great groups of the Muslims through
  18. 18. Ali ibn Abi Trilib 21him."6 It occurred as he said; through him, Allah ($)brought aboutreconciliation between the people of Syria and the people of Iraq,after the battles that took place between them.7 The words of Allah (%): G u t if one of them transgressesbeyond bounds against the other, then fight ye [all] against the onethat transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah), meanthat if one of the two groups transgressed and violated the rights ofthe other, and then they do not pay attention to the rulings of Allah orto advice, then the Muslims have to tight them until they come backto the ruling of Allah (%). The instruction in this verse of nottransgressing or fighting is applicable whether that is done with orwithout weapons. The mediator who tries to reconcile between thetwo sides should do whatever is needed to achieve the goal, as longas it is in accordance with the command of Allah. If the goal can beachieved without resorting to the use of weapons, then that is the bestsolution; if there is no other option than using force, then he shoulddo that until they comply. The words of Allah (&): BBut if it complies, then make peacebetween them with justice, and be fair: for Allah loves those who arefair [and just]), mean that if the group that is wrong gives up itstransgression, after fighting, and accepts the command and rnle ofAllah, then the Muslims must be fair when judging between the twogroups. They should judge in accordance with the ruling of Allah andput a stop to the abuse by the disobedient group; it must cease itstransgression and give to the other group what is due, so that thefighting will not be resumed later. And be just, 0 you mediators, injudging between them, for Allah loves those who are just and givesthem the best rewards. This is a command to be just in a l matters. lThe Prophet (s) "Those who are fair and just will be with Allah said:on thrones of light, at the right hand of the Most Merciful (g), andboth of His hands are right hands, those who are fair and just in their
  19. 19. 22 m e Battles o f the Camel and Szffeen, and the issue of arbitrationrnlings and towards their families and those who are under their Then Allah enjoined reconciliation among the Muslims incases other than fighting, even in the slightest dispute. He (&) said: he Believers are but a single Brotherhood, so make peace andreconciliation between your two [contending] brothers) (Quran 49:10). This verse contains one of the basic principles that govemrelationships between one Muslim and another. Allah ( B ) notdidsay that either or both groups are disbelievers, even in a case wherefighting occurs between them. The most deserving of people to beincluded in the meaning of this verse are the leaders of the believers,the noble Companions (may Allah be pleased with them), whetherthat is with regard to the Battle of the Camel or Siffeen. Amir al-Mumineen Ali (4) applied this verse as he strove to bring aboutreconciliation, and T a a h and az-Zubayr responded, but thefollowers of Abdullah ibn Saba were the cause of the fighting thatbroke out between the two sides, as we will discuss below. Amir al-Murnineen Ali (&) was also keen to set thingsstraight with the people of Syria, and he did a l that he could through lpeaceful means. However, Muiwiyah stipulated that the killers ofUthmh (4) should be handed over, and fighting took place.MuC2wiyahsopinion was mistaken; the correct view was that ofAmir al-Mumineen Ali (&). He only unsheathed his sword afterall attempts at reconciliation had failed, intending for Muiwiyah(&) to follow the command of Allah ( B ) hear and obey, and to andbring about unity in the Muslim state. The words of Allah (s), (The Believers are but a singleBrotherhood) affirmed the brotherhood of faith among all theMuslims who are engaged in fighting each other. It is appropriate thatthis should be applicable to Ali, T a a h and az-Zubayr (may Allahbe pleased with them all) in the Battle of the Camel and to what
  20. 20. Ali ibn Abi T a b 23happened with Mugwiyah at Siffeen. Hence it becomes clear to usthat the fighters at the Battle of the Camel and at Siffeen werebelievers on both sides. These historical events should not be used asa pretext for undermining the position of the Companions, trying todeny that they were believers, or spreading distorted and fabricatedstories about them. To refute those false notions concerning them, itis sufficient to note that this verse confirms that they were brothers infaith. We will discuss what happened between them in more detailbelow. Allah (s) states that the believers are brothers in faith. Theyare united by a single principle, which is faith, so reconcilingbetween two disputing brothers is necessary. To emphasise theimportance of reconciling between two brothers, Allah (@) enjoinedtaqwa in this context. The basis of this attempt to reconcile, and in allyour affairs, should be taqwa, demonstrated by adhering to truth andjustice. Do not be biased, and do not incline to one of the two parties;they are all your brothers, and Islam treats all people equally, so thereis no differentiation between them. Do that so that you may receivemercy because of piety, which means adhering to the commands andheeding the prohibitions.i1 The verse states that reconciling between brothers and fearingAllah (&) is the cause of the mercy of Allah coming down, so thishighlights the great importance of reconciliation between ~ u s l i r n s . lZIt may be noted that he said: Fear Allah when two men dispute; he didnot say that with regard to reconciling between two Muslim groups,because when two men dispute, there is the fear that the conflict maywiden, but when two groups dispute, the impact of the turmoil andmischief is already affecting e~eryone.~ In the verse, (The Believers are but a single Brotherhood), theArabic word innama (translated here as but) is exclusive. It meansthat there is no brotherhood except among the believers; there is no
  21. 21. 24 The Battles of the Camel and Siffeen, and the issue ofarbitrationbrotherhood between a believer and a disbeliever, because Islam isthe bond tbat unites its followers. It also indicates that the commandto reconcile is only issued because there is brotherhood in Islam andnot among the disbelievers. If a disbeliever is a dhimmi or a personliving under Muslim protection, then it is obligatory to take care ofhim, protect him and relieve him of oppression, just as it is obligatoryto help the Muslim and support him in general if his opponent is anon-Muslim in a state of war against the ~ u s l i m s . ~ Ibn al-Arabi said: "This verse is the main guideline whenfighting Muslims who base their reasons for fighting onmisinterpretations. It was a reference point for the Companions onthis issue, and the Prophet (g) referred to it when he said: Amm2r(ibn Y2sir) will be killed by the group that is in the wrong, meaningthat fighting the group that is in the wrong is a communal obligation;if some of the Muslims undertake to do that, the obligation is waivedfrom the rest. Hence some of the Companions (may Allah be pleasedwith them) stayed away from this matter, such as Sad ibn AbiW a q q i ~Abdullah ibn Umar, Muhammad ibn Maslamah and others. ,Each of them gave his apologies, and Amir al-Mumineen Ali (&)accepted that from them."15 There are many rulings that we willdiscuss when we look at the various events that took place among theCompanions. This system, of arbitration and fighting the group tbat is in thewrong until it complies with the command of Allah (s), is regardedas a pioneering system that came before other human attempts atsetting up systems of that nature; it is perfect and free from the flawsand defects that are apparent in all imperfect and feeble humanattempts. Moreover, it has the attributes of being clean, honest, justand universal, because referring to that system is like referring tosomething that is not affected by any ulterior motives or whims anddesires, and is not affected by any shortcomings or defects.16 The
  22. 22. Ali ibn Abi T6lib 25attempts to bring about reconciliation did not cease from the momentfighting broke out until they were crowned by the great reconciliationthat was planned by Amir d-Mumineeu d-Hasan ibn Ab (4). 1. Events that preceded the Battle of the Camel The murder of Uthm2n (A)was a cause of many otherdifficulties, and it cast its shadow over the turbulent events thatfollowed it. Many factors contributed to the murder of Uthmzn(&), including: prosperity and its impact on society; changes in thenature of society during his reign; the fact that Uthmin (&) cameafter Umar (&); the departure of the senior Companions from ,.Madinah; tribalism; the cessation of conquest; ignorant displays ofpiety; personal ambitions on the p m of some people; the conspiracyof those who were full of hate; careful preparation of a list ofaccusations against Uthmin (&); various ways and means thatwere used to stir up the people; and the role of Abdullah ibn Saba inthe turmoil. These causes and reasons have been discussed in detailin my book Tayseer al-Kareem al-Manncin j Seerat Uthmrin ibn ? xff;n.17 The people loved Uthmh (&) very much because of hisgood conduct, his closeness to the Messenger of Allab (g), thebadiths that praised him, and the fact that he married two of theProphets daughters (which is why he was called bun-~oora~n)."He was one of the senior Companions who were given the gladtidings of paradise. He was subjected to injustice during his lifetimeby some of the thugs; be could have put an end to them, but herefrained for fear of being the fust one to shed the blood of theUmmah of Muhammad (g). policy in dealing with the turmoil Hiswas based on forbearance, deliberation and justice. He prevented the
  23. 23. 26 The Battles uf the Camel and Siffeen, and the issue of arbitrationCompanions (may Allah be pleased with them) from fighting therebels and chose to protect the Muslims by giving his own life. Hencehis killing was the cause of a great deal more turmoil, and his murdercast a shadow on the subsequent turbulent events. His killing had a great impact on the Muslims. The Muslimsociety fractured as a result of this major event, and the peoplebecame divided. What may increase his status and prove hisinnocence of everything that was attributed to him is the attitude ofthe other Companions towards his murder. They were all agreed thathe was innocent and that those who shed his blood should hepunished, but they differed as to how that was to he achieved. Thiswill he discussed below, but fimt we want to shed some light on therole of Abdullah ihn Saba in the turmoil in general:1.1. Impact of the Sabais in causing turmoil1.1.1.The Sabais - fact or fiction?The reality of Abdullah ibn Saba The early scholars were unanimous in agreeing that the Sabaisexisted; there were no exceptions among them. A few modemscholars, most of whom are Shias, disagreed with that. They claimedthat the Sabais were a product of the imagination of Sayf ibn Umarat-Tameerni. Some of the scholars of biography criticised Sayf in thefield of hadith narration, but the scholars regard him as acceptable inthe field of historical reports. Moreover, Ibn As& narrated manyreports that mention Ahdullah ibn Saba, and these reports do notinclude Sayf ibu Umar as one of the narrators. Al-Albini rnled thatsome of these reports were sound in terms of their chains ofnarration." These are in addition to the many reports narrated fromIbn Saba in the Shia books of sects, biographies and hadith, in whichthere is no mention of this Sayf ibn Umar at all.
  24. 24. Ali ibn Abi T i i rlb 27 Creating doubts about the existence of Abdullah ibn Sababegan with two purposes: on the one hand, to deny the role of theJewish element in planting the seeds of turmoil among the Muslims,and on the other hand, to point the finger of accusation against theCompanions. The rogue elements attempted to tarnish the bnghtimage of the Companions in the minds of Muslims, by claiming thatthe Companions caused the turmoil. Some contemporary writers, allof whom were Riiiifidi Shias, followed in their footsteps and deniedthe existence of Abdullah ibn Saba for their own purposes. Thesefailed attempts were aimed at proving that their madh-hab hadnothing to do with its real founder, c o n t r q to the facts on which allearlier scholars, including the Shia, were agreed. It is worth pointing out that those so-called Sunnis who deniedthe existence of Abdnllah ibn Saba were among those who wereinfluenced by, or studied under, the Orientalists. What level ofshamelessness and ignorance have these people reached? Hisbiography filled books of history and Muslim sects, his deeds weretransmitted by narrators and his story was known throughout theMuslim world. The historians, scholars of hadith and authors ofbooks on sects and groups, biography, literature and genealogy whodiscussed the Sabais were all unanimously agreed that tbe Abdullahibn Saba who appears in accounts of the turmoil was a real historicalcharacter. The reports of Ibn Sabas role in the turmoil are not limitedto Tareekh at-Tabari and are not based only on the reports of Sayfibn Umar at-Tameemi contained therein; there are widespreadreports in the nmations of earlier scholars and throughout the booksthat record the events of Islamic history and discuss the views ofdifferent sects during that period. However, the advantage that Imamat-Tabari had over others is that he had more abundant material andmore details. Hence shedding doubts on these events without anyevidence, on the grounds that Abdullah ibn Saba is only mentioned
  25. 25. 28 The Battles of the Camel and Siffeen, and the issue of arbitrationin reports via Sayf ibn Umar, even after it has been proved that he ismentioned in sound reports that do not include Sayf ibn Umar intheir chains of narration, as we have mentioned above, only leads torejecting all these reports and labelling those narrators and scholars asfoolish people who are distorting the historical facts. Since whendoes an academic methodology based on pure rational thinking forma basis for rejection, as opposed to texts and corroborating reports? Isthis methodology based on overlooking and ignoring all the sources,both earlier and later, which prove that Ibn Saba was a real person?20Ibn Saba is mentioned in many hooks of Ahl as-Sunnah, includingthe following: The Sabais are mentioned by Asha ~amad2n (d. 83 AH).He lampooned al-MukhGr ibn Abi Ubayd ath-Tbaqafi and hissupporters from Kufah, after he fled with the nobles of the bibes ofKufah to Basra, by saying: "I bear witness that you are Sabais, and Iam aware of you, 0 guardians of d i ~ b e l i e f . " ~ ~ There is a report from ash-Shabi (d. 103 AH/721 CE) sayingthat the first one who told lies was Abdnllah ibn ~ a b a .Ibn ~ ~~ a b e e b (d. 245 AW860 CE) mentioned Ibn Saba and regarded ~him as one of the children of the Ethiopian women.25 Abn &imKhushaysh ibn &ram (d. 253 AH) narrated a report about Ali (&>)burning some of the companions of Ibn Saba, in his book al-~sti~rirnah.~ ~l-~%hid&~ 255 AH) is regarded as one of the first to (d.refer to Abdullah ibn ~ a b a hut ~ repoa is not the fist, as Dr. , ~ hisJaw2d Ali thinks." The story of Alj ibn Abi T2ib (&) burning a group ofheretics is mentioned in sound reports that are narrated in the booksof haditl~.~There is nothing s m g e about using the word hereticwith regard to Abdullah ihn Saba and his group. Ibn Taymiyah said:The Rsfifidi ideas started with the heretic Abdnllah ibn Saha."31Adh-Dhahabi said: "Ahdullah ibn Saba was one of the extreme
  26. 26. Ali ibn Abi Ttlib 29heretics; he was misguided and misled others."3z Ihn Hajar said:"Abdullah ibn Saba was one of the extreme heretics... he hadfollowers who were called Sabais, who believed in the divinity ofAli ihn Abi Tgib (&). Ali burned them with fire during hiscaliphate."33 Ihn Saba is also mentioned in the books of hadith criticism.Ibn Ebb211 (d. 354 AH) said: "Al-Kalbi, Muhammad ibn as-SCib d -Ikhbiri, was a Sabai, one of the followers of Ahdullah ibn Saba, oneof those who said that Ali did not die and that he will come hack tothis world before the Hour begins. If they saw a cloud, they wouldsay: The Amir al-Mumineen (meaning Ali) is in it."34 The booksof genealogy also confirm that the Sabai group is named afterAbdullah ibn Saba, and that they are a group of extreme Rifidis.Ahdullah ihn Saba was originally from Yemen, a Jew who became aMuslim outwardly. Sayf ihn Umar was not the only source forreports about Abdullah ibn Saba. In his Tareekh, Ihn As%nmated reports which have no connection to Sayf, which confirmthe existence of l[bn ~ a h a ?Shaykh d-Islam Ihn Taymiyah (d. 728 ~AH) stated that the origins of the Rzdi sect lay with the hypocritesand heretics, and that it was the invention of the heretic Ibn Saba,who exaggerated about Ali (&), claiming that he should have beencaliph, that he was appointed by a clear text, and that he wasinfallible.36 ~ s h - ~ h i t i h i ~ 790 AH) pointed out that the (d. ~innovation of the Sabais was one that had to do with belief in theexistence of another god besides Allah (g), this was an andinnovation that differed from others? In al-Khutat by al-Maqreezi(d. 845 AH), it says that Ahdullah ibn Saba appeared at the time ofAli (&), saying that Ali (4) was the rightfully appointedsuccessor39 and would return, and promoting belief in thetransmigration of ~ o u l s . ~The Shia sources which mention Ihn Saba include the following:
  27. 27. 30 The Battles of the Camel and Siffeen, and the issue of arbitration Al-Kashshi narrated that Muhammad ihn Qawlawiyyah said:"Sad ihn Ahdullah told me: Yaqoob ihn Yazeed and Muhammadihn Eesa told me, from Ali ihn Mahziyiir, from Faddaah ihnAyyooh al-Azdi, that AbZn ihn Uthmfin said: I heard Ahu Abdnllahsay: May Allah (&) curse Ahdullah ihn Saha, for he claimed that(Ali) was divine, hut by Allah, (Ali) was an obedient slave. Woe tothe one who tells lies about us. If people say of us things that we donot say about ourselves, we disavow ourselves of them before~ l l a h . " ~ The chain of narration of this report is sound.42 I al-Khijhl, al-Qummi narrated the same report, hut in nconnection with a different chain of narration. The author of Raw@al-Janncit mentioned Ibn Saha in a quotation from Imam as-Sidiq,who cursed Ibn Saba and accused him of lying, fabricating, In his hook, Dr.broadcasting secrets and m i ~ i n t e r p r e t i n ~ . ~ ~Sulaymh al-Awdah mentioned a number of texts with which theShia hooks are filled, and their reports from Ahdullah ihn Saba,which are more akin to recorded documents that condemn anyoneamong the later Shia who tries to deny the existence of Ahdnllah ihnSaha or shed doubt on the reports that refer to him on the basis ofpaucity or weakness of the reports.& Ibn Saba was an actual historical figure, concerning whomthere is no confusion in either the Snnni or Shia sources, earlier orlater. This is also the view of most of the Mentalists such as Julius~ a l h a u s e n ?Van ~ n l t o nLevi de la ~ i d a ~oldziher? Ronald ~ ,~~ , ~ ~~ i c h o l s o nand~ , ~ Dwight ~ o n a l d s o nFor ~ few Mentalists such as .~ aCaetani and Bernard ~ewis," Ibn Saba remains a doubtful figure orno more than a myth; Fred Lander remains ~ncertain.~ However, weshould remember that we do not rely on these authors with regard toour history. The one who studies these sources, ancient and modem, Snnniand Shia, will he certain that Ahdullah ibn Saha really existed and
  28. 28. Ali ibn Abi Tiilib 31 that his existence is supported by the historical reports. The books of aqeedah, hadith, biography, genealogy, literature and language also mention him a great deal. This idea was accepted by modem scholars and researchers. It seems that the &st ones to shed doubt on the existence of Ibn Saba were some of the Orientalists; then this doubt was shared by the majority of modem Shia, and some of them deniedhis existence altogether. Among modem Arab researchers, there were some who admired the ideas of the Orientalists and wereinfluenced by the books of the modem Shia. Nevertheless, none ofthem has anything to support the suspicions and denials except doubtitself, which is based on whims and desires, speculations and assumptions.53Whoever wishes to find out more about the Sunni, Orientalist and Shia references which mention Ibu Saba may refer to Tahqeeq Mawiqif as-Sahibah fil-Fitnah by Dr. MuhammadAmhazon and Abdullah ibn Saba wa Atharuhu j5 AhdZth al-Fimahfi Sadr al-Islam by Dr. Sulaymh ibn Hamad al-Awdah.1.1.2. The role of Abdullah ibn Sabain stining up fitnah In the last years of Uthmins caliphate, signs of trouble in theMuslim society began to loom on the horizon, due to the changes thatwe have listed previously. Some of the Jews seized this opportnnityto stir up trouble, by using the tactic of taqiyyah and pretending to beMuslim. Among them was Abdullah ibn Saba, who is also known asIbn as-Sawda. We should not exaggerate his role in the fitnah, assome have but we should not cast doubts on it either, ordiscount the role that he played. His role was only one of severalfactors, but it was the most prominent and the most dangerous. Theatmosphere of turmoil paved the way for him, but there were otherfactors that helped him too. All that Ibn Saba did was to spreadviews and beliefs that he fabricated himself. They reflected his
  29. 29. 32 The Battles of the Camel and Siffeen, and the issue of arbitrationhateful nature, and he propagated them for his own purposes, namelyto introduce new ideas into the Muslim society in order to destroy itsunity and stir up unrest. He planted seeds of division among thepeople, and that was one of several factors that led to the murder ofthe caliph Uth&(&) and the division of the Ummah into factionsand parties.55 To summarize what he did, he began quoting correct ideas, butthen he leapt to wrong conclusions that found acceptance among thesimple-minded, the extremists and those who were swayed by whimsand desires. He followed convoluted ways whereby he deceivedthose who gathered around him. He started quoting Quran andmisinterpreting it in accordance with his false claims, like when hesaid: "It is strange that people believe that Eesa is coming back, hutthey do not accept that Muhammad is coming hack, when Allah (g)says, (Verily, He Who has given you [O Muhammad] the Quran [i.e.ordered you to act on its laws and to preach it to others] will surely,bring you hack to Madd [place of retum1,fr (Qur2an 28: 85) andMuhammad is more deserving of coming back than ~ e s a . "He.~ ~also resorted to false analogy in trying to claim that Ali (&) was therightful heir appointed by the Prophet (g) succeed him, he said: to"There were one thousand prophets, and each prophet had arightfully appointed heir, and Ali was the rightfully appointed heirof Muhammad." Then he said: "Muhammad was the seal of theprophets, and Ali was the seal of the heirs."57 When these ideas had become entrenched in the hearts of hisfollowers, he moved on to his ultimate aim, which was to make thepeople rebel against the caliph Uthm2n (A). That happened tocoincide with the whims and desires of some of the people when hesaid to them: "Who does more wrong than the one who did not fulfilthe final wishes of the Messenger of Allah (g), pushed aside whoAli, the rightfully appointed successor of the Messenger of Allah
  30. 30. Ali ibn Abi Ttlib 33(g), took control of the Ummah? and After that, he told them:" Uthm2n took it unlawfully; here is the rightfully appointedsuccessor of the Messenger of Allah (@J. Get up and do somethingabout it. Start by criticising your governors, and pretend that you areenjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, so that peoplewill be inclined towards you, and call them to this matter."58 He sent out his agents, and he wrote to people in the regions,who were corrupted by his ideas; they wrote to him and propagatedtheir views in secret, pretending to enjoin what is good and forbidwhat is evil. They started writing to people in the regions, mentioningthe faults of their govemors, and they corresponded with theircounterparts in other regions, telling them what they were doing.They spread their false propaganda all over, aiming for somethingother than what they appeared to he seeking; they even sent letters toMadinah. The people in the regions said: We are free of what othersare suffering kom," but the people of Madinah received letters fromall over and said: "We are better off than the rest of the people."59 From this, we can see the methods followed by Ibn Saba. Hewanted to give the impression that there was a rift between two of thesenior Companions by showing that one of them, Ali (A), been haddeprived of his rights, whereas the other, Uthm2n (&), was ausurper. Next, he tried to stir up the people against their govemors,especially in Kufah, in the name of enjoining what is good andforbidding what is evil; as a result, they started to revolt against theirgovernors for the slightest reasons. He focused on the Bedouin in thiscampaign, because he found in them suitable material for carryingout his plan. He gained the support of the religious people amongthem by using the idea of enjoining what is good and forbidding whatis evil. He gained the support of those who had worldly ambitions bymeans of false rnmours against Uthmh (&), such as the claim thathe was biased in favour of his relatives and was spending money
  31. 31. 34 The Battles of the Camel and Siffeeeen and the issue o arbitration ffrom the public treasnry of the Muslims on them, that he hadallocated grazing land for himself only, and other accusations andcriticisms by means of which Ibn Saba managed to rally the thugsagainst Uthmiin (&). Then he started inciting his followers to sendletters relaying temble news about their cities to people in otherprovinces, so that people in all regions would think that the situationeverywhere had gotten so had that it could not get any worse. Thosewho benefited from this situation were the Sabais, because when thepeople believed their propaganda, they would be able to light thespark of fitnah in the Muslim society.60 Uthmiin (&) realised thatthere were plots in other provinces, and that the Ummab was facing abad time. He said: "By AUah, the millstone (of fitnah) will soon starttuming, and it will be better for Uthmk if he dies and does not set itin m ~ t i o n . " ~ The place where Ibn Saba found his niche was in Egypt. Hestarted organizing his campaign agajnst Uthmiin (&) there, urgingthe people to go to Madinah and stir up unrest on the premise thatUthmk (&) had become caliph unlawfully by snatching it fromAli (&), who was the true heir of the Messenger of Allah (@)F2 Hedeceived them by means of letters that he claimed to have receivedfrom the senior Companions, inciting the people against Uthmk(&)F3 However, when the Bedouin came to Madinah and met withthe Companions, they denied writing the letters that had beenattributed to them, and the Bedouins did not receive anyencouragement from them. They found that Uthmk (&) paidattention to the rights of others, and he debated with them concerningthe accusations against him. He refuted their lies and explained thathis deeds were based on sincere intentions, until one of theseBedouin, MSllik ibn al-Ashtar an-Nakhai, said: "Perhaps it is a plotthat has been drawn up against him and
  32. 32. Ali ibn Abi Tilib 35 Adh-Dhahabi is of the view that Abdullah ibn Saba started thefitnah in Egypt, where he planted the seeds of grudges and criticismagainst the governors first, then against the ruler ~ t h m i l n ?Ibn ~Saba was not alone; his agents were at work among the network ofconspirators, using their craftiness and trickery to recruit theBedouin, the religious people among them and others. Ibn Katheernarrated that among the causes of the incitement against U t M(&) was the emergence of Ibn Saba, who went to Egypt and spreadrnmonrs among the people that he fabricated himself, by which manypeople in Egypt were deceived.66 The famous historians and scholars of both the earlier and latergenerations of this Urnmah are agreed that Ibn Saba appeared amongthe Muslims with ideas, plans and plots aimed at diverting theMuslims from their faith and from obeying their ruler, and spreadingdivision and disputes among them. The thugs rallied around him,leading to the formation of the Sabai group, which was one of thefactors in the fitnah that ended with the murder of the caliph Uthmkibn Affb (&). It seems that the Sabai plots were very wellorganized. They were very skilled in directing their missionariesand spreading their ideas, because they had the means of propagandato influence the thugs and dregs of society. They were also active informing branches in Basra, Kufah and Egypt, exploiting tribalsentiments and exploiting the wealmesses of the Bedouin, slaves andfreed slaves, based on knowledge of what they wanted to hear.671.2. Different views among the Companionsconcerning the way to carry out retaliationagainst the murderers of Uthmsn (&) The difference that emerged between Amir al-Mumineen, onthe one hand, and Ta&ah, ai-Zubayr and kisbah on the other, and
  33. 33. 36 Tke Battles of the Camel and Siffeen, and the issue of arbitrationafter that between Ali and Muiwiyah, was not because these peoplerejected the caliphate and leadership of Arnir al-Mumineen Ali(A), that they denied that he was entitled to be the caliph and orruler in charge of the Muslims. That was something upon which theyall agreed Ibn Hazm said: "Mu2wiyah never denied Alis virtue or hisentitlement to the caliphate. But in his opinion, he believed thatpriority should be given to settling the issue of retaliation with regardto the murderers of Uthmin (A) over the issue of allegiance, and hethought that he himself was most entitled to seek retaliation for theblood of ~ t h m % n . " ~ ~ Ibn Taymiyah said: "Muiwiyah did not claim to be the caliph,and allegiance was not sworn to him as caliph when he fought Ali(&). He did not fight on the basis that he was a caliph or on the basisthat he deserved that position. Muiwiyahs party affiimed that Ali(&) was the caliph, and Muiwiyah would confirm to anyone whoasked him that Ali (&) was the caliph. Neither Mu2wiyah nor hiscompanions thought of initiating fighting against Ali and hiscompanions, and they did not do that."69 Ibn Taymiyah also said:"Each of the two groups confirmed that Muiwiyah was not asqualified as Ali with regard to being caliph, and that he could not becaliph when it was possible to appoint Ali to that position. Alissuperiority, seniority, knowledge, religious commitment, courageand all his virtues were obvious and well known to him, as was alsothe case with regard to his fellow caliphs Abu Bakr, Umar andUthmin (may Allah be pleased with them all)."70 The difference of opinion did not result from rejection ofAlis caliphate; the difference was only concerning the issue ofbringing the murderers of Uthmsn (4)to justice. Even then, theirdifference of opinion was not about this issue itself; rather it wasabout the way in which to bring them to justice. Amir al-Mumineen
  34. 34. Ali ibn Abi Ttlib 37 !Ali (&) agreed with Mue?iwiyah in principle that the killers ofUthm2n (&) must be brought to justice, but his view was that theissue of bringing them to justice should be set aside until thingssettled down and unity was achieved.l An-Nawawi said: "It should be noted that the reason for thesebattles was that the issues were not clear. Because they were sounclear, they held different views, and three groups emerged: - a group whose view was that one party was in the right, and that those who differed with them were transgressors; they thought that they had to support this party and fight the transgressors, according to what they believed, and that it was not permissible for the one who reached that conclusion to withhold help and support from the leader who was in the right by fighting the transgressors, according to this belief; - a group that held the opposite view; they thought that the other party was in the right, so it became obligatory for them to support that party and fight those who transgressed against them; - a third party that was undecided about the issue and confused about it aud did not reach any conclusion as to which party was more in the right; they kept away from both and believed that this staying away was what they were required to do with regard to this situation, because it was not permissible for them to help anyone in fighting other Muslims unless it was clear to them that they deserved to be fought, and that if they concluded that one of the two parties was closer to the right, it would not be permissible for them to withhold their support in fighting the transgre~sors."~~
  35. 35. 38 The Banles ofthe Camel and Siffeen, and the issue of arbitration1.3. Az-Zubayr, Talhah and ~ i s h a hand their supporters set out forBasra to set things straight Ta&ah and ai-Znbayr went to Makkah and met with kishah(may Allah be pleased with them all). Their anival in Makkah camein the month of Rabee a l - h i r 36 AH, approximately four monthsafter the murder of Uthmh (L&)?~In Makkah, negotiations beganwith Lishah (I&) about going out on a campaign in pursuit of themurderers. There was heavy psychological pressure on those who feltthat they had done nothing to stop the murder of the wronged caliph.They blamed themselves for letting him down, even though Uthmin(&) was the one who forbade anyone who wanted to defend himfrom doing so, because he wanted to offer himself as a sacrifice forthe sake of Allah (&). They thought that there was no way to expiatethis sin except by going out to seek vengeance. Lishah (&) said: I," Uthmh was slain wrongfully, and by Allah, I shall certainly seekvengeance for his blood."74 Talhah said: "There were someshortcomings on my part with regard to U t h d , and there is no wayI can ever repent except to shed my own blood in vengeance for hisblood."75 And ai-Zubayr said: "Let us inspire the people so that wemay seek vengeance for his blood, lest it be forgotten, becauseforgetting it will lead to the weakening of the authority of Allah ( B )among us forever. If we do not deter people from doing this again,there will be no leader except that people of that kind will kill him."76 This intense pressure on nerves and souls was sufficient to stirpeople up and motivate them to go out on the campaign. When theywent, they realised that they were going out to face unknownturmoils, and each one of them left his home not expecting to returnto it. The children bade farewell weeping, and the day when thesepeople left Makkah for Basra was known as the day of wailing, a daythat was unprecedented with regard to weeping for 1slam.7~
  36. 36. Ali ibn Abi Ttlib 39 1 A number of factors in Makkah made them think seriously ofstriving to achieve their goal. One was the fact that the Umayyadshad fled from Madinah and settled in Makkah. In addition, Abdullahibn h i r -the governor of Basra at the time of Uthmin - was inMakkah urging the people to go out and offering them material help.Yala ibn Umayyah, who had left Yemen to help the caliph Uthmin,had learned upon his arrival in Makkah that the caliph had beenkilled. He had with him considerable amounts of money, weaponsand mounts, all of which be offered as help in pursuing the murderersof Uthmb (&). This was sufficient to encourage those who werelooking for a way to pursue the murderers. They had the means to gather a force to pursue the murderersof Uthmk (&), but where would they begin? A discussion tookplace among them as to which direction they should take. Some ofthem, led by kishah ($&), said that Madinah was where they shouldgo. Another view w a ~ they should head towards Syria, so that thatthey could rally there against the murderers of Uthmb (&). After alengthy discussion, they settled on Basra. There were too many of therebels in Madinah, and they would not be able to confront them andfight them because they were fewer in number, and Syria was alreadyunder control because Mu2wiyah was there. Hence going to Basrawas most appropriate at that point, because it was the least strong ofthe cities; from there they hoped to be able to achieve their aims." Their plan and mission were clear before they set out, duringtheir march and when they reached Basra: the intent was to seekvengeance for the murder of Uthmb (&), to set things straight, to ..inform the people of what the murderers had done and to enjoin goodand forbid Their demand was to cany out one of the haddpunishments of Allah If the murderers of Uthm2n (&) werenot punished, then every leader would be vulnerable to murder bypeople of that nature." As for the way in which they envisaged doing
  37. 37. 40 The Battles of the Camel and Siffeen, and the issue ofarbitrationthat, they intended to enter Basra and then Kufah, seeking help fromits people and others against the killers of Uthmzn (&). Then theywould call upon the people of other cities to join them, so that theycould comer the murderers of Uthmin (&) who were present in thearmy of Ali and seize them with the minimum possible c a s n a l t i e ~ . ~ ~ The campaign to Basra and the anger that stirred theCompanions were not as straightforward as they may have appearedto people. Their purpose was not simply to avenge the murder ofUthmk (&>), as if he were just an ordinary person who had beenkilled, even though this also would involve a transgression of one ofthe sacred limits of Allah (&) that dictated getting angry and sendingarmies to seek revenge. This was much more serious because of theposition and character of Uthmin (&,I, his status as caliph, and theway in which he was killed. It was the assassination of a Shariafigure, the caliph, whom the Muslims regarded as the deputy of theLawgiver in his role of protecting the religion and ruling worldlyaffairs in accordance with Shariza3 Hence unlawful transgressionagainst him constituted transgressing against the Lawgiver andweakening His authority, as well as disturbing law and order for the~uslims.~~ kishah, Ta&ah and az-Zubayr, along with the people whoaccompanied them, were striving to create a groundswell of Islamicpublic opinion to confront this Sabai gang who had murderedUthmzn (&) and had since gained significant power. They meantto do this by making the Muslims aware of what these Sabai thugs,who came from different regions and tribes, and the Bedouins andslaves who supported them, had done. Among the group ofCompanions that held the same view as iishah (I&), it becameclear that the criminals and Sabais had a presence in Alis army.They believed that this was why it was difficult for Ali (&) toconfront them, because he feared for the people of Madinah.
  38. 38. Ali ibn Abi Trilib 41 Hence they had to t y to explain the situation to the Muslims rand gamer support for the party that was demanding implementationof the hadd punishments, so that this could be accomplished with theminimal loss of innocent lives. That was undoubtedly a goal whichAli (&) was striving to achieve, too; in fact, the reports that wehave seen about the discussion among az-Zubayr and Tabah and Alirefer to that. Their plan, and their intention of informing the people ofwhat was happening and explaining matters to them, proves that theywere fully aware of the situation. They recognised that the Sabaishad deceived the masses, and they understood how they had plantedtheir ideas in a way which would continue to weaken the Ummah tosuch an extent that it would not know any peace. Hence there was no alternative but to confront the Sabai planin the field of ideas, so as to cancel out their actions. This can clearlybe seen in the sound reportsa5in which Aishah (I&)speaks of theaims of this campaign. At-Tabari narrated that ~ t h k 2 n Hunayf, ihnwho was Alis governor in Basra, sent word to pishah (I&)whenshe arrived in Basra, asking her why she had come. She s2d: "ByAllah, a woman in my position should not go out on a campaignwithout having a clear reason and making it clear to her children(meaning the Muslims). The thugs of various cities and tribes haveinvaded the sanctuary of the Messenger of Allah (g) and havecommitted a great deal of wrongdoing there, and they have offeredrefuge to the wrongdoers. Therefore they deserve the curse of Allah( B ) of His Messenger, as they killed the leader of the Muslims andfor no reason. They shed blood unlawfully, stole h a r h wealth andviolated the sanctity of the sacred land and the sacred month. Theytransgressed against honour and killed troops. They settled in theplace of people who did not want them to settle among them; theycaused a great deal of harm but did not bring any benefit. I have comeout among the Muslims to inform them of what these people havedone, and of the pain and suffering of the people we have left behind,
  39. 39. 42 The Battles of the Camel and Siffeen, and the issue of arbitration 1and to tell them (the Muslims) what they should do in order to help setthings straight." Then she recited the verse: (There is no good in mostof their secret talks save [in] him who orders Sadaqah [charity inAllahs Cause], or M a roof [Islamic Monotheism and all the good andrighteous deeds which Allah has ordained], or conciliation betweenmanhind) (Quran 4: 114). Thus people joined for the purpose ofsetting things straight for those whom Allah (&) and the Messengerof Allah (g) enjoined that, young and old, male and female. "This iswhat we are trying to achieve, to enjoin you to do what is right andforbid you from doing evil, and we urge you to change it."86 Ibn Hihhh narrated that kishah (%) wrote to Ahu Moosaal-Ashari, Alis governor in Kufah, saying: "You know about themurder of Uthm2n, and I have come out to set things right among thepeople. Tell the people in your city to stay in their houses so that wecan achieve what they like of setting the Muslims affairs straight."87ALi sent al-QaqP ihn Amr to kishah and the people with her toask them why she had come. Al-QaqP entered upon her, greeted herwith s a l b and said: "0 my mother, what caused you to leave yourhome and come to this city?" She said: "0 my son, it is to set thepeoples affairs straight."88 After the end of the battle on the day of the Camel, Ali cameto Aishah (may Allah he pleased with them both) and said to her:"May Allah forgive you." She said: "And you too. I only wanted toset things straight."89 Thus we learn that she only went out on thiscampaign to set things straight among the people, and this is therefutation of those among the R$fi@ Shia who slandered kishah(a) and said that she left her house after Allah ( B ) commanded hadhe; to stay in it, in the verse (And stay in your houses, and do notdisplay yourselves like that of the times of ignorance) (Quran 33:33). The scholarly consensus is that travelling for the purpose ofdoing a righteous deed does not contradict the idea of staying in ones
  40. 40. Ali ibn Abi Tilib 43 1house and not going out. This is what kishah, the Mother of theBelievers (; $) , thought when she went out to set things straightamong the Muslims, accompanied by her mahram and the son of hersister, AbduUab ibn a z - ~ u b a ~ r . ~ ~ Ibn Taymiyah said, refuting the Rsifidis concerning this issue:"She (I&) did not display herself as in the times of ignorance. The .icommand to stay in their houses does not mean that women shouldnever go out for some purpose that is enjoined, such as going out forhajj and umrah, or going out with her husband when he travels. Thisverse was revealed during the lifetime of the Prophet (@J, and theMessenger of Allah (g) his wives with him on his journeys tookafter that, as he took Aishah (@) and others with him during hisfarewell pilgrimage. He sent kishah with her brother Abdur-R,- who seated her behind him on his mount, and he took her tostart her nmrah from at-Taneem. The farewell pilgrimage tookplace less than three months before the death of the Prophet (g),after this verse was revealed. Hence the wives of the Prophet (g)performed hajj after he died as they had done with him, during thecaliphate of Umar (&) and others, and Umar would appointUthmgn or ~ b d u r - ~ h ibn Awf in charge of their caravan. If gnthe joumey is for a legitimate purpose, then it is permissible. Aishabbelieved that this joumey was in the best interests of the Muslims,and that was her opinion."91 Ibn al-Arabi said: "As for her going out to the Battle of theCamel, she did not set out to fight, but the people pinned their hopeson her and complained to her about how bad the turmoil andconfusion had become. They hoped by her blessing to set thingsstraight and that the people would show respect for her and complywhen she took a stance among them. She also thought that herself, soshe set out in compliance with the words of AUah (&): @here is nogood in most of their secret talks save [in] him who orders Sadaqah
  41. 41. 44 The Battles of the Camel and Siffeem and the issue of arbitration I[charity in Allahs Cause], or Maroof [Islamic Monotheism and allthe good and righteous deeds which Allah has ordained], orconciliation between mankind) (Quran 4: 114). The command toreconcile between people and set things straight is addressed to allpeople, male or female, free or slave."92 The following are a number of important issues having to dowith her going out:1.3.1. Was kishah forced to go out? Al-Yaqoobi claimed that ai-Zubayr ibn al-Awwim forcedkishah to go out.93This was the view of the author of al-Amlinahw a s - ~ i ~ 2 s a h ~ ~ ~ b i l - ~ a d e e dit ~ also the opinion of ad- and Ibn ; was~ a ~ n o o r iThe~report narrated by adh-Dhahahi indicated that the .9one who forced her was Abdullah ibn a z - ~ u b a y r the ~ , ~ son of hersister Asma. This report was relied on and quoted by manyresearchers, such as Muhammad Sayyid a l - ~ a k e e lwho claimed,~~that ai-Zubayr and Tabah encouraged kishah to go out; this claimwas also made by Zzhiyah adoo or ah^^ and others, but it is not correct.Aishah began to demand vengeance for the slaying of Uthmzn(&) from the moment she learned of his murder, long befor6 az-Zubayr and Tabah and other senior Companions reached Makkah. It is narrated that when she set off to return to Makkah,Abdullah ibn h r al-Hadrami came to her and said: "Why are youcoming hack, 0 Mother of the Believers?" She said: "I am comingback because Uthmiin has been killed unlawfully, and the affairs ofthe Muslims cannot be sound if these thugs continue to cause trouble.Seek vengeance for the blood of Uthmin and thus support Islam."Abdullah was the first one to respond.100Taaah and z-Zubayr hadnot yet left Madinah, they did not leave until four months after themurder of tJthm2n."
  42. 42. Ali ibn Abi Ttlib 451.3.2. Was she in conti-01 of thosewho were with her? Among those who went out on the campaign with her (I$+)were a number of the Aishah was not a womanwho was in control and able to make people do what she wanted, asBrockelmann claims.03 At-Tabaris reports confinn that the rest ofthe Mothers of the Believers supported her, as did those who werewith her in the effort to put things straight; indeed, a considerablenumber of the people of Basra supported her, too." Thesesupporters, whose numbers were not small, were not insignificantpeople; Talhah and az-Zubayr described them as the best and mostwise of the people of ~ a s r a , " and Aishah described them as the ~righteous.06 The fact that this number of righteous people supportedher cause could only be the result of strong belief in the cause,confidence that something could be achieved by this campaign, andcertainty that its purpose was sound. Amir al-Mnmineen Ali (&)h e w that, and he refuted the claim made by some people that thosewho went out with Aishah were a group of fools, thugs andhooligans.07 After the Battle of the Camel, Amir al-Mumineenstood among those of pishahs party who had been slain, prayingfor mercy for them and recounting their virtues.lo8 We shall seebelow that it was not an d y campaign in which Aishahcontrolled and directed immature people; rather it was a campaign inwhich some of the senior Companions took1.3.3. Attitude of the wives of the Prophet (s)towards those who sought vengeancefor the murder of Uthrnk The wives of the Prophet (g) gone for hajj that year to get hadaway from the turmoil. After news reached the people in Makkah that ..Uthmk (&) had been murdered, they stayed on in Makkah. They
  43. 43. 46 The Battles of the Camel and Szffeen, and the issue of arbitrationhad lefl the holy city, but they went and back and followed news ofthe situation, waiting to see what people would do. When allegiancewas sworn to Ali (&), a number of the Companions left Madinah,not wanting to stay there because of the presence of troublemakersfrom other regions. Many of the Companions and the Mothers of theBelievers (may Allah be pleased with them all) gathered inMakkah. lo The other Mothers of the Believers agreed with Aishahabout going to Madinah to seek justice. When .&ishah, and theCompanions who were with her, decided to go to Basra instead, theothers changed their minds and said: "We will not go anywhereexcept Madinah."" So the idea of seeking vengeance for Uthm2nwas not something on which the Mothers of the Believers differed,but they disagreed when the plan changed from Madinah to Basra.The Mother of the Believers Hafsah hint Umar (I&>) agreed withAishah about going to Basra, hut her brother ~ b d u i i a h insisted thatshe should not go; this was not based on her personal con~iction."~She sent her apologies to kishah, saying: "Ahdullah has preventedme from going on the campaign.""3 The commonly known reports indicate that the Mother of theBelievers Umm Salamah (&) did not share the view of Aishahwith regard to going out oncampaign to Basra; rather she sharedAlis view."4 The sound reports indicate that she sent her sonUmar ihn Abi Salamah to Ali with the message: "By Allah, he isdearer to me than my own self; he will go out with you to fightalongside yon." He went out with Ali (&) and remained withhim.15 This is a report which, upon examination, does not mean thatby sending her son she had a different opinion tfrom the otherMothers of the Believers with regard to setting things straight amongthe Muslims. kishah herself, along with those who were with her, did notthink that this campaign meant that they were going against Ali
  44. 44. Ali ibn Abi Tilib 47(&) or rebelling against his caliphate, as we have seen and as eventswill confirm to us. We also find nothing in the sound reports toindicate that Umm Salamah went against the consensus of theMothers of the Believers with regard to the importance of settingthings straight.l16 The Mothers of the Believers knew that thiscampaign to set things straight among the Muslims came under thecategory of a communal obligation, and the guideline concerningsuch obligations is that it is not expected of all Muslims to carry outthat duty; it is expected only of those who are qualified to cany it out.kishah (&)was fully qualified to carry out that duty because of herstatus, age; knowledge and ability. She (I&) was the mostknowledgeable of the Mothers of the Believers &garding Islam andShasia, according to Muslim consen~us."~ Moreover, she took akeen interest in current events and was highly educated and cultured.Her education had begun when she was growing up in the house ofAbu Bakr (&), who had a vast knowledge of Arabic history andlineages; then she had lived in the house of the Messenger of Allah(g), which had emerged the principles on which the Muslim fromstate was based. Furthermore, she was the daughter of the first caliphof the Muslims. The scholars confirmed this high status of kishah. Urwahibn az-Zubayr said: "I was acquainted with Aishah, and I havenever seen anyone at all who was more knowledgeable of any versethat was revealed, any obligatory duty, any sunnah, anyone who wasmore wen-versed in poetry or narrated more poetry; anyone who wasmore knowledgeable of Arabic history and lineage and so foah, oranyone who had more knowledge of judiciary matters or medicinethan her."" Ash-Shahi used to mention her and express hisadmiration for her understanding and knowledge, then he would say:"No wonder, when she learned from the Prophet (gJ!" used to Atasay: Aishah was the most knowledgeable of people and the most "
  45. 45. 48 The Battles of the Camel and Siffeen, and the issue of arbitrationwise."119 Al-Abafibn Qays, the chief of Banu Tameem and one ofthe most eloquent of the Arabs, used to say: "I heard the speeches ofAbu Bakr, Umar, Uthmh, Ali and the caliphs who came afterthem, and I never heard words from the mouth of any person thatwere more powerful and more beautiful than those of Aishah(&)" Mu2wiyah used to say something similar.120The Mothers of I ,.the Believers bade farewell to Aishah when she left for Basra, andthis is indicative of their support and encouragement for her in whatshe was doing.1211.3.4. pishahs passing by the oasis of al-~awab"~ It is proven with sound chains of narration that iishah (I&) .ipassed by the oasis of al-Hawab. It was narrated from Yahya ibnSaeed al-Qanh, from Ism2eel ibn Abi Khi!id, from Qays ibnHiizim that the Messenger of Allah (g) to his wives: "How will saidone of you be when the dogs of al-Hawab bark at her?"123 It wasalso narrated via Shubah from Ism2eel that when Aishah came toal-Hawab, she heard the barking of dogs, and she said: "I think Ishould go back, because the Messenger of Allah (g) Whichsaid:one of yon will the dogs of al-Hawab bark at?" Az-Znbayr said toher: "Are you going back? Perhaps Allah (s)will put peoplesaffairs straight by means of you."124 This version was narrated byYala ibn Ubayd from Ismiieel, and was recorded by a l - ~ & i m . ~ ~Al-Alb2ni said: "Its chain of narration is very sound." He also said:"It was classed as such by senior imams of hadith such as Ibn Hibbh,adh-Dhahabi, Ibn Katheer and E n ~ a j a r . " ~ ~ These are sound reports in which there is nothing misleadingor false, because the Companions would not stoop to that level,contray to what is claimed in false reports,27 as we shall see below.The one who studies these reports, which have been classified assound by the scholars, will not find anything in them to suggest that
  46. 46. Ali ibn Abi Trilib 49 1kishah (I&,) should or should not have done the things that she did.Rather what may be understood from them is that the Prophet (&)was wondering which one of his wives would pass by the oasis of 2-Hawab. The reports that contain the word beware, indicating thatthe Prophet (g) wamed against going there, were not classified assound by the scholars; in fact, they were classified as weak. Oneexample is the report which says, "Beware lest you he there, 0Humayra." lZ8 Hence the correct view, which we follow, is that the fact thatkishah (&)passed by the water of al-Hawab did not have thenegative effect which was suggested by the fabricated reports. It did (I&)herself to the pointnot have any far-reaching effect on ~ i s h a hthat she started seriously of turning hick and giving up thecause for which she had set out, namely to set matters straight amongthe Muslims and correct their mistakes. The matter did not go beyonda passing thought on her part, in which the possibility of turning backmerely crossed her mind. This is how she expressed it when she said:"I thought about going back, but it was only an idea that did not lastfor long." Then her mission became clear again, after az-Zubayrreminded her of what Allah (&) might bring about at her hands interms of setting things straight among the ~ u s l i m s . ~ ~ The issue of the oasis of al-Hawab, and the hadiths in whichal-Hawab is mentioned, were and still are fertile ground for the Shiaand others, which they use to criticise the Mother of the Believerskishah (I&). They criticised her for going out and campaigning toseek vengeance for the murder of Uthm2u (&), and they even wentso far as to deny that her decision was based on valid ijtihiid on herpart; they claimed that she went against the instrnctions of theMessenger (g) to go to the oasis of al-Hawab. The historical notsources mentioned this story, and it is mentioned by at-Tabari in alengthy report that was narrated by Ismieel ihn Moosa al-Fa&, of
  47. 47. 50 The Battles o the Camel and Siffeen, and the issue of arbitration fwhom Ibn Adiyy said: "They (the scholars) criticised him for beingan extremist and a Shia."I3O Al-Faziti narrated this report from Aliibn Lbis al-Azraq, who is weak according to Ibn Hajar and an-~ a s i i . ~He also narrated this report from al-Khac$ib al-Hajri, who is unknown.32 This unknown al-Hajri narrated from anotherunknown narrator, whose name was Safwgn ibn Qubayah al-A I p n a ~ i . Finally, an even more unknown character is al-Azni, the ~~alleged owner of the camel. He was not the owner of the camel; ratherits owner was Yala ibn ~ m a ~ ~ a h . ~ ~ In the text of this report, the reader may detect a clear whiff ofShia and RZfidi influence at the end of the report, where it is claimedthat Ali (&) thought himself more entitled to the caliphate thanAbu Bakr, Umar and Uthmb (may Allah be pleased with them all).On the contrary, the reports that are proven to be sound indicatesomething completely different135Based on the above, it becomesclear to us that this report is not 50und.l~~ There are other reportsconcerning this matter, all of which are false in both chain ofnarration and text. The message and aim of these reports is to castaspersions on the senior Companions (may AUah be pleased withthem) and to prove that the goal of this campaign was to achieveworldly, personal gains such as wealth, leadership and so on; that theends justified the means; and that in trying to achieve that, theywould not refrain from creating war and turmoil among the Muslims. These reports focus on two great Companions, Talhah and az-~ u b a ~ rThe~ ~ . fabricators of these reports also wanted to confumthat these two Companions and the members of the army who werewith them dared to violate the sacred limits of Allah (g).reports Theallege that Tabah and az-Zubayr swore in the strongest terms to theMother of the Believers that this was not the water of al-Hawab;furthennore, they brought seventy people - and according toanother report, fifty people -to testify that what they said was true.
  48. 48. Ali ibn Abi Tiilib 51This action, according to the R%di Shia al-Masoodi, was the firstfalse witness given in ~ s l a r n These~reports tried to show that .~~Taltph, z-Zubayr and iishah were not in harmony and were notunited on one goal. They tried to show that Aishah (I&) sided with (a)Talhah .. and that deep down in her heart, she was lkping that hewould become caliph because he was from the tribe of Taym just likeher. These reports also suggest that there was intense competition andrivalry between Talhah and az-Zubayr, and that they were both eagerto become the leader. One cannot ignore the fact that these reports arenot free of severe weakness. In some of them, the chain of narration isinterrnpted, and in some, there are narrators about whom nothing isknown; in some cases both serious faults are present.139 Many writersand historians were influenced by these reports, relied on them andplayed a part in propagating them, but they have no basis. Thesewriters include al-Aqqid in Abqaiiyut Ali, Taha Hussein in Ali wa~ a l z u h u and other contemporary writers. ~~1.3.5. Their actions in Basra When Talhah, az-Zuhayr, iishah and the people with themarrived in Basra, they stopped beside a l - ~ h u r a ~ b a hFrom there, .~~they sent word to the prominent figures and nobles of the tribes,seeking their help against the killers of Uthmh (&). Many of theMuslims in Basra and elsewhere wanted to bring the murderers of Uthmin (&) to justice, but some of them thought that this was thejob of the caliph alone, and that going out on campaign for thispurpose without his instructions was wrong. Many of the people ofBasra, regardless of their different tribal backgrounds, joined thembecause these were Companions whom the Prophet (@) had testifiedwere guaranteed paradise; they were members of the consultativecommittee; they were accompanied by the Mother of the Believers kishah (I&), the beloved of the Messenger of Allah .. (s) and the
  49. 49. 52 The Battles of the Camel and Siffeen, and the issue of arbitrationmost knowledgeable of all women; their quest was undoubtedlylegitimate; and no Companion denounced it. Az-Zubayr sent a message to al-Abaf ibn Qays al-Sadi at-Tameemi, asking for his support in seeking vengeance for the murderof Uthmiin (&). Al-&naf was one of the leaders of Tameem, aman whose word carried weight. He said, describing the seriousnessof the situation: "There came to me the most serious decision I wasever faced with, and I said: If I let these people down when they havethe Mother of the Believers and the two disciples of the Messenger ofAllah (g) them, it will be something very serious indeed."" withHowever, he decided to keep out of it, and he took with him sixthousand men who obeyed him, but many others disobeyed him withregard to this matter and joined Talhah, az-Zubayr and the Mother ofthe ~ e 1 i e v e r s . I ~ ~ Az-Zuhri stated that most of the people of Basrafollowed them.44 Ta&ah, az-Zubayr, kishah and their followerswere joined by new supporters of the cause for which they had comeout. Ibn Hunayf tried to calm things down and sort things out asmuch as he could, but the matter was beyond his control, so much sothat one of them said concerning Basra: "Some of the people of Syriahave descended among us."145 Even Muiwiyah, later on, tried totake over Basra with the help of its people.146 Some unreliable sources say that Uthmk ibn Hunayf allowedHukaym ibn Jablah to fight, but this is not proven, and the soundsources do not confirm that."1.3.6. The slaying of Hukaym ibn Jablahand the thugs who were with him After kishah had addressed the people of Basra, Hukaym ibnJablah came and started fighting. The companions of kishah,Talhah and az-Zubayr brandished their spears at them, but they didnot engage in combat. They were hoping that the other side would

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